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Vick gives advice to Rice to 'make amends'

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Aug 13 2014 12:28:08 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 13 2014 12:50:05 PM CDT
Michael Vick

Tim Shaffer/Reuters

Michael Vick, speaking from personal image-building experience, offered words of advice to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

Rice recently spoke for the first time since entering a diversion program as part of a high-profile domestic violence case.

Vick, now with the New York Jets, has been battling to mend public perception after his conviction on dogfighting charges in 2007.

"I think the most important thing that you can do is to try to make amends for what you've done," Vick told NJ.com. "I think you have to show people that you're trying to help yourself and bring awareness to that situation to help others, to prevent it. You've got to become an advocate."

Rice was arrested Feb. 15, after he allegedly struck his then-fiancee, and now wife, Janay Palmer unconscious during an altercation at an Atlantic City hotel. Video surfaced online showing Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of an elevator.

Rice pleaded not guilty to a third-degree charge of aggravated assault and avoided trial by being accepted into a pretrial intervention program in May. The seventh-year running back received a two-game suspension from the NFL.

Vick spent 18 months in federal prison as a result of charges associated with dogfighting. When he came back, there was an outcry from animal rights groups after the Philadelphia Eagles signed the quarterback in August 2009.

Vick worked hard to resurrect his career and win over fans in Philadelphia and around the league. He took other steps to repair his image, speaking out against animal abuse.

"You've got to continue to make amends. Once you start something, you can never go back. I feel like I've become an advocate of animal welfare, and I think I have to continue that.

"It's all about keeping kids 15 years from now from doing the same. We've saved a lot of kids, and we've saved a lot of animals. That's how I feel. Ray will make it right. He'll do everything he can to make this situation whole again."