NFL star quarterback Michael Vick is gradually regaining most of the major endorsement deals he had once held, but lost after being convicted and jailed four years ago for his involvement in a pit bull dog fighting business.

But even with his newly regained celebrity status, Vick wants the world to know he has also gained new morals, especially pertaining to animal rights. That’s why the 31-year-old Philadelphia Eagles quarterback delivered an anti-dog fighting message before Congress on July 19, supporting proposed legislation that would penalize those that knowingly support animal fights.

According to the Associated Press, Vick, who spent 18 months in a federal prison on a conviction linked to dog-fighting, told Congress he was introduced to dog fighting when he was a youngster and wants to help other kids break the habit of viewing such a gruesome sport as entertainment, before they end up potentially investing, as he did, in the business.

“Help us to reach out to these kids before they go down the wrong path,” Vick said. “It’s up to the parents to take responsibility and make sure it doesn’t happen.”

The AP has reported that Vick has teamed up with Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States, in speaking out against dog fighting at several churches and schools nationwide. Now, they feel it’s time to lend their support to federal legislation to be passed to further strengthen laws against animal fighting and abuse.

According to AP, being a spectator at an animal fighting event is already illegal in 49 of 50 states. But the newly proposed bill—sponsored by Reps. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio), Tom Marino, (R-Pa.) and Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.)—would impose harsher penalties of up to a year in jail time and/or fines for adults attending an animal fight. The bill would also enforce a three-year prison sentence plus fines for adults allowing minors to attend animal fighting events, the AP said.