ATLANTA -- Michael Vick's father said he asked his son to
give up dogfighting, or to at least put property used in the
venture in the names of others to avoid being implicated, according
to a report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In The Journal-Constitution report posted on the newspaper's Web
site Thursday night, Michael Boddie, who is estranged from Vick and
the quarterback's mother, also said some time around 2001 his son
staged dogfights in the garage of the family home in Newport News,
Boddie told the newspaper Vick kept fighting dogs in the
family's backyard, including dogs that were "bit up, chewed up,
exhausted." Boddie claimed to have nursed the dogs back to health.
The indictment against Vick does not mention the parents' former
home in Newport News.
In the report, Boddie dismissed the idea that Vick's longtime
friends were the main instigators of the dogfighting operation.
"I wish people would stop sugarcoating it," Boddie told The
Journal-Constitution. "This is Mike's thing. And he knows it ...
likes it, and he has the capital to have a setup like that."
The report said Boddie and the Atlanta Falcons quarterback have
had a volatile relationship for years and that his son has refused
to speak with him directly for the last 2½ months.
Boddie, 45, lives in an apartment his son has paid the rent on
for the last three years. Vick, who has a $130 million contract
with the Falcons, also gives him a couple of hundred dollars every
week or two, the father told the newspaper.
In the report, Boddie also said he asked Vick for $1 million,
spread out over 12 years. Vick declined, the father said. Recently,
Boddie asked Vick, through an assistant, for $700,000 to live on.
On Monday, Vick agreed to plead guilty in the federal
dogfighting case in Richmond. He faces up to five years in prison
and the possible end of his football career. Three co-defendants
already pleaded guilty and were expected to testify against Vick if
the case went to trial. In addition, a Virginia prosecutor is
considering bringing state charges against Vick.