BY: John “Hennry” Harris
Michael Vick has shown that he has more “bounce back” than the Michelin Man. In August 2007, Vick pleaded guilty to federal felony dog fighting charges and served 21 months in prison followed by two months of house arrest.
At the time, Vick was the highest paid and most recognizable player in the NFL. The loss of his NFL salary, product endorsement deals, combined with financial mismanagement, placed Vick on his financial and professional death bed. Vick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2008.
Now, the 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year is once again a starting quarterback and ready to cross another personal hurdle: escaping bankruptcy and paying off all of his massive debts. The payment is nearly $20 million, owed to dozens of creditors, and is a feat far greater than he has ever achieved on a football field.
Since being released from prison, Michael Vick has made noticeable, life-altering changes and has fought to regain his position in the NFL and repair his broken image in society.
“It was a problem life dealt me,” Vick told the Newport News about having to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy before going to prison. “The most important thing to me was just to get myself back to doing what I love to do: play football. I was blessed to be able to come out of prison and get my body back in shape to play.”
According to the Virginian-Pilot, Vick’s pending U.S. Bankruptcy Court case in Norfolk, VA will be settled in the coming months.
Vick said he felt obligated to repay his debts. “It was one of my goals.”
Those 548 days in federal prison shaped and molded Michael Vick into a self-admitted better person. Vick recently restructured his contract and took an $8 million pay cut to run the Philadelphia Eagles high powered offense. Vick also got his Nike endorsement back. On June 30, 2012, he married Kijafa Frink in Miami Beach, FL and will soon be from under the thumb of bankruptcy. Mature and grateful, life is good for #7.