The Eagle’s starting quarterback talked more about education than dogfighting.
Michael Vick is used to drawing a crowd on the field. Tuesday the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback drew cheers from a crowded auditorium at a Charter High School in Philadelphia’s West Oak Lane neighborhood.
The cheering juniors, seniors, and athletes at Imhotep Institute Charter School take pride in the school’s high graduation rate. Vick’s speech focused on education and dreams, not his dogfighting past.
“Whatever goals that you have, whatever you wanna do, all it takes is persistence, patience, and believe in yourself. And don’t never count out your Mom or your Dad. Sometimes you know as you grow older, you go into your teenage years you think you know it all. But you’re so young.”
The event is part of Vick’s promise to work with the Humane Society. The crowd cheered loudly when Vick said his biggest motivation is proving people wrong.
“My heart’s still an open wound for everything I’ve been through. Everything that I put myself through. I mean like I always tell everybody, I know I did it to myself. And a lot of people counted me out.”
The students also heard the Eagles’ decision to give Vick a second chance framed in a larger context by Bilal Qayyum, the President of the Father’s Day Rally Committee.
“The society paints black men like they’re all criminals, they’re all worthless. That is not the truth! You’ve gotta to give a person who makes a mistake, a second chance.”
18 year old athlete Mikal Segers says he appreciated Vick’s visit.
“I think his speech was very dedicated. Us young brothers need our education and he need someone to look up to and I look up to Mike Vick.”
Segers says he once saw a dog fight in the neighborhood, but he kept walking because he thinks it’s wrong.