Can a person discover God in the darkest time of his or her life? Michael Vick says so.
The former NFL quarterback said he came to believe that “God was real” during his 23-month prison term, a revelation that gave him a fresh start when he asked God for a second chance.
“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 had been playing in the NFL since 2001, rising as a talented and versatile quarterback, but that all came to abrupt halt in 2007, when he was sentenced to prison on charges of dogfighting.
Seventy dogs were seized from his property in Surry County, Virginia, and he was said to have been involved with “Bad Newz Kennels,” a dogfighting ring.
He says that the Lord humbled him through that experience and he was forced to deal with problems he’d been running away from.
“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 said that he came to rely on scripture for comfort while in prison.
“The book of Psalms was very powerful. 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.”
For many, something like this would end their careers. However, Vick was able to continue playing after his release in 2009.
Although he’s retiring this year, Vick hopes to work as a coach in the NFL.
“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 said.”
He also hopes that someday, he’ll help a team win a championship. “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.”