It’s often in our darkest moments that we turn to God for mercy and direction. For former NFL star Michael Vick, it wasn’t until he hit rock bottom that he recognized his need for a savior.
In a recent interview with Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), the former Eagles and Falcons quarterback said he came to believe that “God was real” while serving a 23-month prison term.
Vick began his NFL career in 2001, quickly gaining recognition as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. But in 2007, revelations about his participation in illegal dogfighting cast a dark shadow on a once-promising career.
Police arrested Vick after he was found to be involved in “promoting, funding and facilitating” an underground dogfighting ring called “Bad Newz Kennels.” Seventy dogs were seized from his Surry County, Virginia, estate.
Vick received a 23-month jail sentence, and the NFL suspended him indefinitely without pay for violating its player conduct policy.
During his nearly two-year sentence, Vick had plenty of time to reflect on the choices he made and the fans he let down. He told CBN that God humbled him through that experience, as he was forced to confront internal battles he’d been avoiding for years.
“When I was going through everything that I was going through, I just felt for a long time that there was a black cloud over my head, that there was nothing that I could do right” he said. “I knew the things that I was trying to hide from was finally catching back up with me and it showed me that God was real, that you are not bigger than anybody, not better than anybody.”
Vick also spoke about the important role Scripture played in his transformation.
“The book of Psalms was very powerful,” he told CBN. “I leaned on the book of Psalms in my toughest and my most sorrowful moments, when I felt like I had no fight left. I always seemed to get broken down and have to resort back to the Bible.”
While serving his time, Vick prayed for a second chance to make things right with his fans.
“I screwed up one time. If I get another opportunity, which is what I prayed for, then I had to make the most of it and I had to be real about it and be truthful,” he said. “And I got that second opportunity. So that was my responsibility. The promises that I made to God, I had to fulfill those responsibilities.”
Vick got that second chance in 2009, when, upon his release, the NFL welcomed him back. Since then, the quarterback has worked to repair his tarnished reputation and use his fame to influence others for the better.
Though he plans to retire this year, Vick hopes to continue working for the NFL as a coach and mentor for budding stars.
“I’d definitely love to help work with young quarterbacks and develop them and still compete, you know, with the team and with the coaches,” he told CBN.
His dream is to eventually help a team win a Super Bowl.
“You know I didn’t get the championship when I was playing, so, hey, maybe I’d get lucky one year, maybe fortunate enough to join the staff that may be good enough,” he said.
(H/T: CBN News)