I just watched Michael Vick’s public apology, and while I’m not in a very forgiving mood towards the former Falcons quarterback and self-professed dog fighter and killer, I do have to give him begrudged credit for owning up to his culpability instead of shamelessly hiding behind a legal team that maintains his innocence and exploits the judicial process — which would have been his right to do so had he wished.

Sure, the case against him was essentially a slamdunk what with the two associates who flipped and pleaded guilty and implicated him, but that doesn’t stop most defendants from letting a judge and jury decide their fate.

As to his press conference today,  Vick used the word “immature” to describe his behavior and actions that have destroyed his career and left him looking at a year or more in prison. He also mentioned finding and accepting Jesus and asking for the lord’s forgiveness and guidance. But while looking to heaven, to me what was most telling was what he didn’t do to make amends here on earth.

What could have been a huge step toward getting me to forgive him is if he had used this opportunity not only to vehemently denounce dogfighting (he did, but by only briefly saying he “renounced” the criminal and heinous activity), but also if he had proposed the creation of a trust funded by him that would be used to establish and maintain a no-kill shelter not only to give fighting dogs an opportunity at retirement instead of cruel and inhumane torture and death, but also to care for abandoned animals in general and provide an opportunity for them to live out their lives in peace and health.

That would’ve been huge.