Michael Vick gave a very candid account of his role is defending fellow Philadelphia Eagle Riley Cooper after video surfaced of the wide receiver screaming, “I will fight every n****r in here,” at a concert. He considers it the triumph of his football career — a true testament to the man Vick has become since his darker past landed him in prison for 21 months.
[ESPN] “It’s the best thing I’ve done as a professional athlete, absolutely,” Vick said. “I handled it so my team could move forward, and I handled it so people could forget about it and not look at Riley a certain kind of way. I changed the whole dynamic of that situation, and that was a proud moment for me. … I was able to save a young man’s career, and that young man went on to have the greatest year of his career and get a contract that he probably never imagined he would get.”
He did go on to say that Cooper wasn’t exactly the most thankful person in the world after Vick stuck his neck out for him, often to the dismay of other African American teammates.
[ESPN] A couple of things transpired since [the incident] that I dislike, and I’ll be honest with you. After he signed his contract, I sent him a text and I never got a text back, and that made me feel a certain type of way.
So today on First Take, Shannon Sharpe (who was filling in for Stephen A. Smith) recounted his own experience with a white teammate offending black players, and how he dealt with it. The incident — which has been well-documented by now — occurred back in 1997, when linebacker Bill Romanowski spit in the face of wide reciever J.J. Stokes during a game.
“If I see you at a golf tournament,” Sharpe said he told Romanowski. “I’m gonna have to take the club to you.”
Watch the whole story, below: