People Still Hate on Michael Vick by Ezekiel Akwei

I read a very self righteous interesting article on PFT written by one Michael David Smith. The reason it made me want to write was because it is really, really annoying that some people can’t and won’t let this thing with Michael Vick go. The dinner for the Ed Block Courage awards is upon us.

Naturally, there will be attention whores, errr, animal rights groups there protesting the fact that Vick won the award as voted on by his teammates. First of all, they saw him on an almost daily basis from the time he was signed till the end of the season. If they feel he was deserving of the award, and he was voted unanimously, then who are any of us who have nothing to do with the voting, or who don’t interact with him at all to say he doesn’t deserve it? He has paid for his crimes, and he continues to pay for them, and left to people like Michael David Smith he will pay for them until he is dead and buried. Hell, maybe he should just go back to jail.

First let me say that I’ve heard a lot of people say that because he was voted for the award unanimously by the Eagles locker room it means he voted for himself. That’s a very self-serving opinion. It’s also very wrong. It just means that anyone who voted picked him to win. It doesn’t mean that every player in the Eagles locker room actually voted. He may not have voted at all. He may have voted for someone else, it may not have been totally unanimous but we all know the media has to sensationalize everything. Okay, now I can get to some of the excerpts from the article and dissect it a little…

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.

This act of beefing up security was tailor made for news bites and sensationalism. I’m sure it could have come and went whether Vick was there or not with regular security and with the autograph session without any incidents other than those caused by PETA people. It’s not like they haven’t been known to disrupt, assault, and generally destroy people’s property in the name of animal rights.

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.

I find it very funny and disturbing that only The Humane Society seems to be doing the smart thing with regards to Vick. They are actually there beside him watching what he does. They want him to be “rehabilitated” and actually use his celebrity to their advantage in a positive way. PETA has been on a soap box from the onset of his return to the NFL preaching and preaching, not about animal rights, but about how he doesn’t deserve to have anything. They saw this as an opportunity to be seen, not to make a difference, but just to be seen and heard. I guess spraying celebrity fur wasn’t getting the attention it used to get.

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.

Look at the last statement closely. A not very subtle jab at Vick calling him a dishonorable person. I’m sure that he knows Vick well enough as a person to be able to make such a statement. I’m sure he played many games of madden with Vick, smoked some herb with Vick, and hung out with him and his family so he’s an excellent judge of Vick’s honor.

Look, we all know what he did. We all know how horrible it was. We all know the time he did in jail, and some of us actually can see the almost never reported work he’s doing in the local community. I say that last part since I’m from Philly, it’s known when he goes to schools to talk to the kids, and other community work he does. The national media would have no clue about that and wouldn’t care. Michael David Smith just saw a chance to push his self righteous views out on a national stage and did it. So what if you’re a dog lover, or even a dog hater, get over it. The other recipients of the Ed Block Courage award probably have no problem with Vick being among their ranks. They know what he’s going through. Just the fact that he’s going through all this in the public eye is more than most of the idiots who left some rather ignorant comments on that story would have the cojones to even attempt.

With all the problems going on in the world in general, and even the sports world specifically, this is what he’s worried about? This event would have come and gone without notice but for organizations like PETA, and writers who need attention. Yes, I am included, but I know better than to question a man’s honor who has shown no sign or regressing back to his former life just for a story. I’d be willing to bet that the fans that show up to the ceremony to mingle with the honorees would have a lot more class than any PETA nut who showed up to protest. Here’s an idea, instead of complaining about what he’s getting go out there and make a difference. Go out and volunteer at an animal shelter, adopt a stray, or do something productive. Protesting or insulting Vick (who has been more humble to the media than I know I would be with such treatment) serves no real purpose. Its Smith’s right to express his feelings about what Vick did, or anyone else for that matter, but that right comes with responsibility. Smith has no idea who Vick is now, or why his teammates voted for him to receive that award. I’m not the biggest fan of Vick, but I like to think that since he’s paid for his crime, and is making an effort to move forward in a positive manner that he should be given the chance to do that and not be judged/slandered by someone who doesn’t know him past what they see on the TV or read in the papers.

6 thoughts on “People Still Hate on Michael Vick by Ezekiel Akwei

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