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Michael Vick Says Joe Mixon Can Be 'Example' for Children

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2017

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Former Atlanta Falcons player Michael Vick walks on the field prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C.  Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick, who spent 18 months in prison for his role in a dogfighting ring before becoming an advocate against animal violence, says Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon could become an example for children.

"Kids can use this as an example," Vick said Tuesday, per Connor Hughes of NJ Advance Media. "Joe got an opportunity because he's an exceptional talent. Others don't get that opportunity." 

Mixon, 20, was charged with misdemeanor assault in October 2014 after punching a woman in the face and causing facial fractures and other damage. The woman, Amelia Molitor, later sued Mixon for damages before reaching a settlement.

Video of the incident leaked to the media in February, with some NFL teams taking Mixon off their draft board. The Cincinnati Bengals selected him with the No. 48 pick in April's draft.

"Joe's young, man, and he made a mistake," Vick said. "Let's be honest, you rarely see guys having encounters like that. It should never happen. I would never condone it. I don't think it's right at all.

"But in terms of his football career, if he could go back and think about it before he actually made that gesture toward that girl, he wouldn't have done it. Not if he knew what he would be dealing with now...I think he has learned from it. Hopefully, he's humbled by what happened to him."

Vick pleaded guilty in 2007 to running a dogfighting ring in Virginia, which led to a 23-month prison sentence. He served 18 months before being released early in 2009, after which he returned to the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Vick played seven additional seasons after his prison stint, earning a Pro Bowl berth in 2010. Publicly apologetic from the moment he left prison, Vick also became one of the foremost advocates against animal cruelty. 

Mixon has apologized publicly for his actions on a number of occasions. Molitor wished Mixon "the best of luck" in the future in a joint statement announcing the settlement of the lawsuit. 

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