Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney II sat down with Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews to give his first interview since the team signed Michael Vick Tuesday.
Matthews began the interview asking several questions about Vick, including if Rooney himself talked to him before the team signed him.
“I did. We were trying to evaluate his sincerity. He came across as a contrite person who has made a sincere effort. One of the things he told me he was proudest of in terms of what he’s doing is his connection the humane society and trying to get the laws passed to make it a felony for dog fighting, for which he was part of a successful effort to get that done a few years ago. I wasn’t even aware of that until he told me about it.”
Rooney did address fans with concerns over the signing. A small protest group formed outside the team’s practice facility on Wednesday. Rooney reportedly talked to each individual person.
“Number one, we respect their opinion. I’ve been a dog owner all my life so I certainly understand that point of view. There’s nothing we can do to defend the past with Michael. Our evaluation had to be in terms of what he’s done since he’s gotten out of prison, and how sincere he’s been and trying to become to be a better person and reform himself. I think in those kinds of evaluations, we felt like he’s been a good person and he’s really tried to make things right.”
Be sure to check out the entire interview, which also touches on Maurkice Pouncey’s injury and the Steelers’ defense. We’ll link the video again here.