May 15, 2013, 1:15 PM EDT
For the most part, it seems like Michael Vick has tried to turn his life around since being released from federal prison — speaking out against animal cruelty, paying his creditors, getting married, taking care of a family dog.
Of course, the reason he was in federal prison is the same reason many will be never be able to reverse their opinion of the Eagles’ quarterback regardless of how he leads his life moving forward.
Vick released his book Finally Free last year, recounting his involvement with dog fighting and his ensuing two-year federal incarceration, but he recently sat down Yahoo’s Jason Cole for a two-part interview, also revisiting issues from his past.
The beginning focuses on the difficulties of growing up in Newport News, Va., but the money quotes are about halfway through the interview, when Vick admits to ignoring warnings from an older mentor that he would one day find himself in jail.
Vick: I had one of my best friends telling me the entire time that I needed to change, and I never did. He told me that I could go to prison for the things that I was condoning and I blew him off in 2003. This is one of the guys who helped raise me into a young man. He was one of the older guys, eight or nine years older.
Cole: He looked at you and he told you that?
Vick: Yeah, he told me. He always told me the truth. He cared about me genuinely enough. Even to this day, we have a great relationship and he told me. I tell people about it all the time. I’ll be like, “He told me that I was going to go to prison one day.” I laughed at him. I laughed at him.
Cole: You thought you were invincible?
Vick: I thought money could get me out of any situation and I ended up going to prison. He never said I told you so, never. He tried to help me figure out what was the best situation. I wasn’t mature enough to hear it and I wished I would have listened. But hey, lesson learned.
Twenty-one months in Fort Leavenworth is some lesson.
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