Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick told Liberty University students how a passage from the Bible got him through the almost two years that he was in jail at the peak of his sports career.
Vick, 37, said that when he was drafted to the NFL in 2001, he soon stopped reading the Bible. However, when he was jailed in 2007 for his part in a dog fighting ring, he drew his strength from the Bible as it helped him realize the things that were important.
During Liberty University's convocation on Jan. 30, the former Atlanta Falcons player said Psalm 23 had given him something to hold on to during the 548 days he spent behind bars, The Christian Post relayed.
"My mom told me before I went in, 'Psalm 23 will get you through,'" Vick shared.
While in jail, Vick spent his time pondering on his mistakes. He later turned back to the Bible for comfort amidst his situation.
"All those years I was going through the Bible and trying to interpret what was being said and trying to understand it. When I went to [prison], it gave me strength. It gave me a reason to believe," said Vick. "It empowered me in such a way where empathy and sympathy became important and perseverance became important and being a role model became important — all these things that I forgot about, all these things that was unimportant to me all of a sudden became important again."
Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy also mentored Vick four months before he was set to be freed from jail. After he was released in July 2009, he was able to return to the NFL to play seven more seasons with various teams.
In August last year, USA Today reported that Vick had begun a coaching internship with the Kansas City Chiefs and was later on hired as a studio analyst for Fox NFL Kickoff. He told the publication how excited he was about his new career path, noting that he had improved a lot in the last few months.
While his heart was also set on coaching, Vick said he had prayed about it and felt that it is not yet the right time to delve into that task. He said he would not want to be impulsive when it came to choosing between being a coach and a sports analyst.