I was stunned to read that Michael Vick, convicted dog torturer/killer, will be receiving the Ed Block Courage Award, given to one member of each NFL team AS VOTED BY HIS TEAMMATES, who exemplifies commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.
Subsequently, AKC President Dennis Sprung sent a letter to the Ed Block Foundation and Jeffrey Lurie, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles expressing AKCs concern that a player who has been convicted in connection with his dog fighting activities which included abuse, torture and killing is being honored with an award named after someone who abhorred child abuse. Research suggests there is a direct link between animal abuse and child abuse and domestic violence.
Pat Laurans of the German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America has started a grassroots campaign asking that animal lovers send respectful letters of protest regarding the inappropriate choice of Michael Vicks for a Sportsmanship award. She provides the following sample letter which you can modify as you wish. Names and addresses follow.
I was shocked and horrified to learn that Michael Vick will be receiving the 2009 Ed Block Courage Award. This award honors those National Football League players who exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. I fail to see how Michael Vick who was convicted of committed such heinous acts of abuse against animals can be held up as a role model of sportsmanship and courage as well as an inspiration to others. Especially in light of the fact that Ed Block, the Awards namesake, dedicated his life to ending the vicious cycle of pain and despair suffered by children at the hands of their abusers, not unlike the actions of Michael Vick against equally living beings.
And while Michael Vick has been voted by his teammates for this award, I strongly disagree with them on their selection. I believe he should NOT be honored in light of the documented connection between abuse to animals and child abuse and domestic violence. Researchers have also found that having a history of animal abuse is considered to be one of the key predictors of violent criminal behavior against people.
Letters, e-mails and calls of protest should be directed to:
Ed Block Courage Award Foundation
8808 Orchard Tree Lane
Towson MD 21286
Sam Lamantia Chairman
Dave Copenhaver Manager
Jeffrey Lurie owner
1 NovaCare Way
Philadelphia, PA 19145
Director of Public Relations
One NovaCare Way
Philadelphia, PA 19145
I can’t comment any further on Michael Vick and the Eagles without using a fistful of expletives, but I hope you’ll join me and Pat in expressing our outrage to the Eagles and the Ed Block organization.