Vick Reaches Out to Fans, Falcons

Embattled NFL quarterback Michael Vick made an appearance today on the Atlanta-based Porshe Foxx radio program. Calling into the program, Vick gave his first interview since charges were filed against him July 17.

During the brief spot Vick thanked his fans and all those who continue to support him, and expressed regret over the negative impact the dogfighting scandal is having on the Atlanta Falcons franchise.

"I know I put the city through a lot, my owner, Arthur Blank, who I love, sincerely. I put him through a lot. It hurts me to put him through this situation."

Concerning the Falcons' training camp, Vick said he "wished he could be there." To his fans, Vick said, "I love you all. I'd love to see you again. But it remains to be seen."

"It's a crisis situation for me, but I'm going to get through it and I feel, by the grace of God, that's the only way. I believe in the outcome at the end, and that's why I put my faith in the man upstairs. It pains me not be down there right now because I know so many people want to see me and I want to be there."

Vick pleaded not guilty to charges of violating federal laws against competitive dogfighting Thursday, along with his three other co-defendants, Tony Taylor, Quanis Phillips and Purnell Peace. But this morning Taylor reversed his plea and said he was guilty of all charges. Taylor and Vick were once close but have since reportedly had a falling out.

During Thursday's bond hearing and arraignment Taylor was noticeably estranged from his three co-defendants, who neither looked at nor spoke with him throughout the proceedings.

As Vick has come under fire from animal rights groups and the news media, R.L. White, president of the Atlanta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, urged the public today to restrain itself from prematurely passing judgment on Vick.

"If Mr. Vick is guilty, he should pay for his crime, but to treat him as he is being treated now is also a crime," White said at a news conference. "Be restrained in your premature judgment until the legal process is completed."

Reports from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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