Michael Vick knows a bit of what Ray Rice might be going through.
The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback spent 18 months in jail after being convicted of dog fighting charges, returning to the league in 2009 with the Philadelphia Eagles. Though Ray Rice has not faced charges for the incident in which he knocked then-fiancee Janay Palmer unconscious, he is feeling the full force of the NFL as he has been suspended indefinitely and cut from the Baltimore Ravens when new video emerged of the attack.
But Michael Vick said he believes that Rice deserves a chance to make up for his mistake.
“Honestly, I think everybody deserves a second chance. Everybody… But there’s going to be a grace period and we all just have to sit back and reflect on what’s been done,” Vick told Newsday. “Ray Rice is a great football player, but I think there’s some things he has to work on, some issues he has to deal with.”
But Michael Vick also stopped short of comparing his situation to Rice’s.
“This one is tough. I think what I did doesn’t compare to what this case is and what came out of this,” Vick said. “It’s just a situation where men have to understand that we’re men. Women are a lot smaller and not as physical as us. We just have to think before we react. It’s not man-on-man. It’s man-on-woman and that’s unfair.
“It’s just as bad. I won’t compare dogs to humans in this situation. But you’re talking about a man putting his hands on a woman, so it’s a totally different realm. You’re not talking about somebody abusing an animal. You’re talking about a man abusing a woman.”
Vick had already spoken out on Rice this past summer, after the NFL announced that he would face a two-game suspension for the incident. At the time, Vick said that Rice needed to find a way to make a positive out of the situation to “bring awareness to that situation to help others, to prevent it. You’ve got to become an advocate.”
Michael Vick added that he plans to reach out to Ray Rice.
[Image via Complex]