After Michael Vick’s public statement and apology on Monday, Vick’s parents both spoke out about their son.
Vick’s estranged father, Michael Boddie, said he thought his son’s apology was heartfelt and he meant every word that he said.
“Right now our family really does need God to step in,” Boddie said. “The devil came to our family and destroyed our family. Hopefully we can mend and move on. Maybe me and my son can have a relationship. Maybe not.”
Vick has not spoken to his father in two and half months, and Brenda Vick, Vick’s mother, has not lived with her husband for the past five years.
Boddie said his cell phone service, which is paid for by Vick, was cut off last week when he spoke to the media about Vick’s past experiences with dog fighting.
Brenda Boddie came to her son’s support. She denied allegations that Michael Boddie made that said Vick participated in dog fighting as early as 2001.
“I don’t know what kind of a father would do that to his child,” she said of Boddie. “There was no dogfighting [at our home]. There were no cages. I know he is angry and mad because of his son â€” because of his drug habit.”
Brenda Boddie said Michael Boddie has a history of drug abuse and is angry that Vick has not shared more of his money with his father. She said Michael Boddie is mad at the attention and gifts that Vick lavishes on her.
“Everybody makes mistakes,” she said. “Everybody deserves a second chance. He has given his life over to God. He is not a criminal . . . He’s a good person. He has a big heart, and it just hurts.”
Other sports figures continue to comment about Vick.
Hank Aaron, a retired Major League baseball player, called Vick “a very good guy” and blamed Vick’s problems on the “bad apples” he hangs out with.
“Your association is what brings on a lot of these things,” Aaron said. “You can be as good as you want to be, but if you associate yourself with bad apples, you’re eventually going to be bad yourself.
Golfer Tiger Woods said this after Vick’s apology: “If you made that big a mistake, you’ve got to come out and just be contrite, be honest and just tell â€¦ the public that ‘I was wrong.’ And I think waiting a long time â€¦ got a lot of people polarized. â€¦ I just think if he would have come out earlier he would’ve diffused a little more of it.”
Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post and ESPN is one of the most influential sports commentators in the country, and he thinks Vick definitely deserves punishment for his crime.
“Personally, I’d like to see Vick locked in a cage with six to eight of those pit bulls and nothing but his hands to use in his own defense. Goodness, yes, an eye for an eye is sometimes the only just punishment.”