Fox Sports analyst and former NFL star Michael Vick shared words of inspiration to the audience gathered in N.C. Central University’s B.N. Duke Auditorium for this year’s second Rock the Lyceum event on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The attendees, made up of students, athletes, locals and visitors, lined up around the building to fill in every seat the auditorium had to offer.
After an impressive collegiate career at Virginia Tech University, Michael Vick was selected first overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2001 NFL draft. During his time in Atlanta, he broke multiple rushing records and received three Pro Bowl selections. He is regarded as the player to revolutionize the quarterback position with his rushing ability.
However, in 2008, Vick’s spotlight began to dim as he faced criminal charges for a dog-fighting ring and served 18-months in prison.
Upon his release, He expressed his desire to get back into the league. He was eventually signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, which he would later lead to him winning the NFL Comeback Player of the Year and another Pro Bowl selection.
In 2017, Vick officially retired after short stints with the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Mr. NCCU, Jamaal Searcy, sat down alongside Vick and asked him multiple questions relating to both students and students-athletes. Searcy took his time to make the audience laugh but made sure that each question was given a serious answer.
The former number one overall pick spoke about the obstacles that he faced after his incarceration and the effect that they had on his public image.
“I knew that the legacy I had built up unto my incarceration was ruined,” said Vick.” I cried, but with every tear I got stronger”
After his sentence was over, Vick knew that he had many doubters and naysayers. In attempt to rise above the hate and stereotypes associated with being a formerly incarcerated African-American, Vick pushed further into making an NFL comeback.
“I didn’t want to be a product of my environment, but my environment to be a product of me,” Vick told the audience.
This statement is made true with his many charitable works in the community. With the help of his own nonprofit organization, The Team Vick Foundation, Vick has made the commitment to be an aid and provide a support system for people in need.
Vick emphasized the importance of giving back to the community and the pride he takes in helping the next generation. He encouraged students to give back as well and that “where you are at in your life” or “how much money is in your pocket” should not be excuses to help those in need.
Despite retiring from football, Vick has kept himself involved in the sport. Vick works as an analyst for the FOX NFL Kickoff show and as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Legends division of the Alliance of American Football League.
Michael Vick has impacted the lives of many from his work on and off the field but his resume is yet to be complete. “I still got a lot of life to live,” Vick explained. “The story is still untold. There’s still more to do.”