Once-notorious Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Michael Vick is now advocating new legislation for animal rights.
On Tuesday, Vick is scheduled to meet with Pennsylvania lawmakers to support PA House Bill 1516, otherwise known as the “pets in cars” bill. This bill would give the local police authority to rescue dogs and cats from vehicles due to unsafe temperatures in the cars.
Recognizing that he is not exactly the ideal spokesperson for such an initiative, Vick explained himself via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.
“I know that I’m an unlikely advocate,” Vick said through a representative. “I was part of the problem. Now, my perspective can help reach people that activists can’t reach. I can help others become agents of change.”
Vick will reportedly be accompanied by school kids from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to lobby to the Democratic caucus, with representatives Jake Wheatley Jr. and Ed Gainey on hand to host Vick’s visit.
Vick served nearly two years in prison after he pleaded guilty in 2007 to federal conspiracy charges for his role in a dogfighting ring. Since his release, the quarterback has played seven seasons in the NFL, spending time with the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets and now Pittsburgh Steelers.
Since serving his jail time, Vick has been involved in other local advocacy efforts involving pets, including his public support of the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act which President Obama passed in 2014.
“All animals require kindness and respect,” Vick said. “They depend on us, like children depend on us. Many animal welfare bills across the nation do not get enough attention to pass. We can change that.”
Even though Vick appears to be a changed man and he has paid his debt to society, there always will remain those folks who still can’t put what Vick’s past cruel behavior in the rear view mirror.
I just saw a ASPCA commercial about rescuing dogs involved in dog fighting. Now I'm crying & I hate Michael Vick.
— YoMaHomes816 (@YoMa816) December 5, 2015