They were his boys – his posse. Now they’ve turned on him. They’re signing like the Harlem Boys Choir and Michael Vick is going to pay.
No one knows yet what’s going to happen on Friday when Purnell Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, and Quanis Phillips, 28, of Atlanta, enter their plea agreements in the federal case against Vick. More than likely, they’ll join the parade led by Tony Taylor of Hampton, who earlier plead guilty to charges in the dog fighting saga and will be sentenced in December.
At the same time, Vick could cop a plea himself and throw himself on the mercy of a judge, who, pending the charges that arise our of the plea agreement, could sentence Vick to up to five years in jail.
The repercussions of this case are many, and we’ll no doubt be writing about them for weeks. Should Vick go down and land in prison, it will no doubt be the most high-profile conviction of an active athlete since Mike Tyson was sent to prison for rape. Maybe the most striking take down of an active sports star ever. If someone can think of another one, help me out.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing potential repercussions is whether the code between an athlete and his boyhood friends, his hommies, his posse, has been eradicated from existence. Until now, neither the star athlete or his band of brothers sold the other out. The word “loyalty” was tossed around a lot.
It was almost an admirable bond. Almost. Until more and more athletes – making more and more money – were dragged backwards by friends who, in truth, didn’t want to see them leave the ‘hood. Oh, they all wanted the trappings of success – the cars, the clothes, the houses, the women. But they thought they had earned the bounty just as much as the athlete himself.
And the athlete indulged them. No, bankrolled them. Often blindly. Sometimes not.
Vick, it may turn out, may not have been as blind to what was going on in a home he owned in Virginia as it might have first seemed to some of the staunch defenders. But no matter, no one could have predicted that his crew would turn like figure skaters on the man who allowed them to enjoy a life they might never have achieved on their own.
Perhaps athletes now will be more mindful of their circle, more discerning even. At least we can hope.
Athletes often believe in their own invulnerability. And some of them will continue to do so. But when they do, they should only think of Vick, who, sadly, looks to have lost it all – for his posse.