Every December, we begin to receive e-mail announcements regarding the recipients of each team’s Ed Block Courage Award.
The Eagles’ recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award is quarterback Mike Vick.
The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation’s web site explains that the organization “is dedicated to improving the lives of neglected children and ending the cycle of abuse.” The group “raise[s] public awareness and support[s] child abuse prevention with our radio public service announcements.”
The web site also explains that the recipient of the award “exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage,” that the recipient “symbolizes professionalism, great strength, and dedication,” that the recipient is a “community role model,” and that the recipient “will be identified as a team player in helping abused children and families in crisis.”
So why Vick?
This isn’t about whether a man who engaged in a six-year pattern of animal abuse, including ghastly acts of killing dogs that he deemed unfit to fight other dogs, should receive a “second chance” in a profession that pays him a large amount of money.
This is about whether that man should be celebrated.
In our view, he shouldn’t be — not based on his cameo appearances during the 2009 season, not for his ability to stay out of trouble during his ongoing federal probation, and not for whatever efforts he has undertaken to help abused children and families in crisis.
We’ll wager that he has done, and will do, nothing to help abused children and families in crisis, mainly because the focus of his off-field efforts has been to help abused dogs and canines in crisis.
Maybe there simply was no one else on the team worthy of the honor. Or maybe the players voted without a real understanding of what the honor means. Or maybe they simply wanted to give critics of Vick a collective middle finger.
Either way, we think the Eagles made a huge mistake on this one.