This year, Bobby Bonilla’s annual $1.2 million check from the Mets is balanced out by a former NFL player’s alleged debt in that same amount.
Michael Vick has rehabbed his image since ending a two-year prison term in 2009, paying his debt to society and settling all debts he had (sort of) through a bankruptcy filing. Vick, whose post-playing career has flourished with TV work and, most recently, a job with Levels Sports Group as head of athlete development, has been sued for $1.2 million arising from a 2018 loan.
David Ovalle of the Miami Herald has the story. A group of creditors have sued Vick in Broward County in an effort to collect. Although his house is exempt under Florida law, the plaintiffs are seeking whatever they can find for seizure and sale, from cars to jewelry to any memorabilia Vick might have.
Vick’s lawyer doesn’t have an issue with the debt generally; however, he doubts the validity of the calculations.
“Michael Vick takes these matters seriously and is aware of the proceedings and will be sure that all parties who are entitled to receive payment will be paid,” Arthur Jones told Ovalle in a statement. “However, usurious calculations which produce absurd results should not be countenanced by the courts of Florida. Therefore, all appropriate defenses will certainly be utilized. Further comment on any shenanigans which lead to situations like this may be made available at a later date.”
Ovalle’s story also mentions a $400,000 loan that Vick received in 2018 from a company that gives current and former athletes cash in exchange for future earnings. Vick apparently didn’t pay those future earnings, and that eventually became a $1.9 million judgment, thanks to interest. The lawyer representing the group that owns the debt claims Vick hasn’t paid.
Coupled with the new lawsuit, Vick now allegedly owes more than $3 million.
These debts cut against Vick’s efforts to improve his overall reputation in the years since authorities discovered his dogfighting habit. Other little things have emerged (but have largely gone unnoticed) in recent years that contradict the new Mike Vick.
For example, Ovalle reports that Vick has been sued twice in Broward County over financial issues. In 2017, Mercedes-Benz sued Vick after he stopped making payments on a car he’d purchased. Also in 2017, Vick was sued for accepting $9,000 for regular appearances on WFAN radio in New York during the 2014-15 season (he was playing for the Jets) but failing to do so.
Those two are small potatoes in comparison to the current financial jackpots. And, yes, paying or not paying what’s owed to others is a key aspect of someone’s reputation.