The Ed Block Courage Awards dinner is an annual event at which fans can mingle with the NFL players who have been singled out by their teammates as positive role models and pillars of the community.
This year that won’t be the case, thanks to the presence of Michael Vick.
Vick, who was — stunningly — voted as the Eagles’ recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award, will attend the dinner on Tuesday. And the Baltimore Sun reports that because Vick will be there, the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation has beefed up security and scrapped the long-standing tradition of having the athletes mingle with fans and sign autographs.
Multiple organizations, including the American Kennel Club and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, have said they think it’s inappropriate for Vick, a convicted felon who admits that he ran a dog fighting ring, to be honored as a role model. The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation is concerned that protests of Vick’s presence could cause problems, and the added security and nixing of the autograph signing is the result.
The sad thing is that there are 31 other NFL players who actually deserve to be honored for their achievements on and off the field, and Vick’s presence at the Ed Block Courage Awards dinner will keep the attention off them. If Vick were an honorable man, he’d decline to attend and let those 31 NFL players receive the recognition without any distraction.
So expect Vick to be there.