Michael Vick spent many nights crying himself to sleep in his prison cell out of guilt and disgust for his role in running a dog-fighting ring, the repentant football player said in an interview.
"I was disgusted, you know, because of what I let happen to those animals," Vick told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview that aired Sunday."I could've put a stop to it. I could've walked away from it. I could've shut the whole operation down.''
The three-time Pro Bowler, who recently signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, said he deserved to lose the $135 million contract with former team the Atlanta Falcons that made him the highest-paid player in the NFL.
He said it wasn’t until his first day in prison that he realized the “magnitude” of what he’d done.
"And, you know, it's no way of, you know, explaining, you know, the hurt and the guilt that I felt," he said. "And that was the reason I cried so many nights. And that put it all into perspective,'' he said.
In the interview, Vick apologized to Falcons' owner Arthur Blank for lying to him and said he used to have poor work ethic on the field.
"I was lazy. You know, I was the last guy in the building, first guy out,'' Vick said. "I know that. You know, I hear everything that people say. And that hurt me when I heard that, but I know it was true.''
The star quarterback spent 18 months behind bars for leading a dog-fighting ring, but insisted he really cared about animal welfare.