Blank says he was 'stern' with Vick over recent troubles Print
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Thursday, 10 May 2007 20:28
NFL Headline News

 ATLANTA (AP) -Concerned that quarterback Michael Vick's recent troubles could bring a suspension from the NFL, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said he met with Vick and ``could not have been more stern.''
Blank told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he has grown weary of the negative publicity Vick has generated since making an obscene gesture on Nov. 26 to fans at the Georgia Dome after the Falcons lost to New Orleans. Most recently, there has been an investigation into evidence of illegal dog fighting at a property Vick owns in Virginia.
``I told him, 'You represent us as a franchise, you represent yourself as a person and you represent the NFL. It's not one single thing, it's a series of things,''' Blank said.
In another case, Vick was investigated for trying to bring a water bottle - with a secret compartment police said smelled of marijuana - through a security checkpoint at Miami International Airport in January. He was not charged in that incident.
Saying some of Vick's problems can be blamed on people around him, Blank said he admonished Vick: ``'You're responsible for who you're with. You need to make some difficult choices and you need to make them now. I think you're at a critical point in your life.'''
Blank said he asked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to speak to Vick last month while both were at the NFL draft in New York.
``What (Goodell) will do about it, I'm not sure, but he's not going to take it lightly,'' Blank said. ``He's got Michael on his radar and I think he made that clear to Michael as well.''
In response to written questions submitted through the team's public relations department, Vick said he understands it is his responsibility to avoid negative publicity.
Of his meetings with Blank and Goodell, Vick said: ``They both challenged me to be more accountable in all areas of my life. I know I need to make some changes around me to make sure that the people in my life have my best interest at heart. My goal is to not let my fans, my teammates or my coaches down.''
 

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