PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Speaking to a group of high school students,
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick offered himself up as a cautionary tale of the dangers of peer pressure.
Vick spoke to a rapt audience of 200 freshmen on their first day at Nueva Esperanza Academy, a North Philadelphia charter school. He urged students to make the right choices and to resist the urge to follow the crowd.
Vick was sent to prison for his role in operating a dogfighting ring. He was released from federal custody July 20 after serving 18 months. The Eagles signed him last month.
Speaking without notes, Vick told the students his decisions imperiled the goals he had set for himself since childhood.
Some Eagles fans and animal welfare groups have criticized the team's decision to sign Vick.