Earlier today, the Eagles announced that their 2009 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award was none other than quarterback Michael Vick. The Ed Block Courage Award is a yearly honor given to those NFL players who "exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage." The recipient is chosen in a vote by his teammates for team effort as well as individual performance. Naturally, Vick's selection caused mixed reactions from the football world. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes:
In our view, he shouldn't be [celebrated]-- 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.
It is certainly an interesting decision for the Eagles, who have come under a great deal of scrutiny since signing Vick this offseason. It's understandable to want to honor a player attempting to turn his life around, but giving him an award based on preventing child abuse is not the way to do it. It will be interesting to hear the reactions of other voices of the NFL as the news of Vick's nomination spreads.
Previous Eagle recipients include current long snapper Jon Dorenbos and former Eagles Chad Lewis, Derrick Burgess, Correll Buckhalter, Duce Staley, Bobby Taylor, Jerome Brown, Mike Quick, and Ron Jaworski.