Michael Vick called supporting Riley Cooper “the best thing I have done as a professional athlete” in a recent interview with Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.com. Vick was the first person to publicly support Cooper and accept his apology after the receiver was filmed making racist remarks at a country music concert last summer.
Vick believes that without his support, Cooper’s career may have ended. Prior to this week, he questioned whether Cooper appreciated it.
“I just hope he’s [appreciative] of my boldness to step out in front of the world and say what I said, and he appreciates what I did and understands the magnitude of it, because nobody else was going to step up and say anything,” Vick explained. “I could’ve said the same thing that 25 of my teammates were saying, and there was built-up anger.
“A couple of things transpired since [the incident] that I dislike, and I’ll be honest with you. After he signed his contract, I sent him a text and I never got a text back, and that made me feel a certain type of way. But I’m not the type of guy who holds grudges.”
Vick obviously was holding some sort of grudge, or he never would have brought up the unreturned text message. However, the veteran quarterback’s spokesman told O’Connor on Wednesday that Vick and Cooper had spoken since Vick’s interview and are “all good.”
“I changed the whole dynamic of that situation, and that was a proud moment for me,” Vick added. “I was able to save a young man’s career, and that young man went on to have the greatest year of his career and get a contract that he probably never imagined he would get.”
While we don’t know if Vick deserves all the credit for Cooper’s success last season, there were rumblings about Cooper’s career potentially being in jeopardy. An endorsement from a black teammate certainly helped ease the tension on some level.