Michael Vick has been sentenced to 23 months in a federal prison for his role in running a dogfighting ring.
Vick apologized to the court and his family during Monday’s hearing. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson responded, “You need to apologize to the millions of young people who looked up to you.”
“Yes, sir,” Vick answered.
Hudson continued: “You were instrumental in promoting, funding and facilitating this cruel and inhumane sporting activity.”
The suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback said he used “poor judgment” and added, “I’m willing to deal with the consequences and accept responsibility for my actions.”
Vick pleaded guilty in August to helping to kill six to eight pit bulls and providing money to support a dogfighting ring on his 15-acre property in rural Virginia.
Vick surrendered to authorities on Nov. 19 to begin serving his sentence. The federal system has no parole, but time off for good behavior could shave three months off Vick’s sentence.
The NFL had no comment on the ruling. Falcons owner Arthur Blank called it a difficult day for Vick’s family and “our players and fans who have been emotionally invested in Michael over the years. We sincerely hope that Michael will use this time to continue to focus his efforts on making positive changes in his life, and we wish him well in that regard.”
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