CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Drew Rosenhaus is a dog lover. When the agent heard that Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis seemed to support dog fighting, it tested his loyalty to a client.
``I've had dogs my entire life and I personally find dog fighting cruel, vicious and evil,'' he said Wednesday.
Portis was asked Monday about the investigation into possible dog fighting at Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick's Virginia home.
``It's his property; it's his dogs,'' Portis told a Norfolk, Va., television station. ``If that's what he wants to do, do it.''
Rosenhaus, speaking at a Charlotte Touchdown Club luncheon, said he talked to Portis about it.
``He said, 'Drew, I didn't mean for the way that came out. All I was saying, I wasn't condoning dog fighting. I wasn't condoning Michael Vick's conduct. All I was saying is that people should give him the benefit of the doubt until he's been charged or found guilty,'' Rosenhaus said.
The agent then immediately began a public relations campaign to clear Portis' name.
``I like the fact that Clinton stood up for another athlete, but I want to clarify that he in no way, shape or form condones dog fighting or any type of illegal activity,'' Rosenhaus said. ``I spent the last day or so with Clinton trying to get that message out.''
Rosenhaus has dealt with controversy before. He represents more than 90 players, including Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens, Warren Sapp of the Oakland Raiders, Jeremy Shockey of the New York Giants and Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, who is holding out in Chicago after the Bears placed the franchise tag on him.
Portis' comments, though, led to outrage. In the TV interview, the Laurel, Miss. native added: ``I know a lot of back roads that got a dog fight if you want to go see it.''
Portis has apologized and the Redskins have distanced themselves from the comments.
``It was awkward for me, because it was one of my clients and I'm a real dog lover myself,'' Rosenhaus said.

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