Advertisement

 HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) - Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma said Thursday his recent comments comparing dogfighting to horse racing were misunderstood.
Asked on a local radio show his thoughts on the investigation of Falcons quarterback Michael Vick's possible involvement in dogfighting, Vilma said: ``Dogfighting is much more extreme, but you can equate it to horse racing. ... Everyone has heard about dogfighting. Whether you choose to participate or not, that's your decision. I'm not here to condone or accept it. It's been there for a while...''
Speaking at the team's minicamp Thursday, Vilma insisted ``my comments that were misinterpreted were that I am not for or against dogfighting or Michael Vick. It's an unfortunate situation for Michael Vick whether he is involved or not.''
``I was definitely not comparing the two, dogfighting to horse racing. You'll have activists who are against both. They say in horse racing, you put a lot of stress on the animals,'' Vilma added. ``I'm indifferent and it's a matter of wanting to stay away from the whole Michael Vick situation, whether he is involved or not. I'm not saying anything about dogfighting or anyone who might be involved in it.''
Vilma, heading into his fourth pro season, said he recognizes the visibility athletes have and how they often are held to different standards than the general population.
``Whether we like it or not, we are high-profile athletes,'' the 2004 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year said. ``We're role models. Kids come up to me all the time to talk and it makes me remember when I was a kid and I got to meet Jerry Rice and how much that meant to me. And how we've got to set a good example.''
Jets coach Eric Mangini said he was aware of Vilma's comments and that he would talk with the player about them.
``We completely don't condone cruelty to animals on any level,'' Mangini said. ``At some point, we probably will talk to him about that.''

Recent NFL Discussions

Advertisement

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Jets Season Win Total Prediction Both sides can stop reaching for their holsters and start retreating from the saloon. After a months-long standoff, the Jets and Ryan...
Thumbnail Eagles 2016 Win Total Prediction After finishing 7-9 last season, will the new-look Philadelphia Eagles improve upon that record in 2016?
Thumbnail Redskins 2016 Win Total Pick   After being the surprise winner of the NFC East in 2015, can the Washington Redskins find a way to have another big season in...
Thumbnail Bills Season Win Total Prediction Rex Ryan blew into Orchard Park last January with his patented bravado dialed up to 11, but all the swagger in the world couldn’t mask another disappointing...
Thumbnail Chicago Bears Win Total Picks The Chicago Bears find themselves in a competitive NFC North Division. Can they navigate the waters in 2016 to have a winning...
More inNFL Articles  

NFL Team Pages