I am very tired of talking about Michael Vick. He has been in the news for what feels like an eternity and it would be nice to move on.
But then the Eagles went and picked him as their team’s nominee for this year’s Ed Block Awards, named for the long-time head trainer for the Baltimore Colts who was also an advocate for abused children. Each NFL team designates a winner every year, who supposedly exemplifies sportsmanship and courage.
Vick was in Baltimore tonight receiving this award. A number of animal-rights activists showed up to protest. Security was supposedly heavy and the usual practice of guests meeting players and getting autographs was abandoned, which I think is actually one of the most unfortunate things about this.
Organizations like the Humane Society are saying nice things about Michael Vick now and he is working with them on dog fighting prevention activities. He says some words about himself like “humbled” but mostly my ears still hear a lot of self-congratulation, like while he was accepting this award, for instance:
“I think I do exemplify what this award stands for. I think everybody has the right to their own opinion. But I feel like I’ve done everything that I said I would do, coming out and moving forward. My peers felt like I was doing the right thing, and that I display courage and sportsmanship and leadership. I value their opinion.”
He feels he has done everything that he said he would do.
And whereas he may indeed be going around to community centers and schools talking to kids and trying to prevent young people from getting involved with dog-fighting and I can certainly think of worse things he could be doing with his time, he was essentially told to do it. It was a condition of his (highly-paid) employment.
And yet, I still can’t think about the things he did and was responsible for without wanting to cry. I will probably