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Task force chair calls Vick’s award a disgrace

The chairperson of the Mayor’s Anti-Animal Abuse Task Force says bestowing an Ed Block Courage Award on Michael Vick is “premature at best and disgraceful at its worst.”

In a letter to Sam Lamantia, Jr., CEO of the Baltimore-based Ed Block Courage Award Foundation, Caroline A. Griffin, head of a task force charged with reducing animal abuse in Baltimore, expresses “grave disappointment” with the decision to honor Vick with the reward. Vick was unanimously nominated by his Philadelphia Eagles teammates.

Vick’s award, scheduled to be presented in March, is also being protested in the form of  a petition drive.

Here is Griffin’s letter, as it appears on Mayor Sheila Dixon’s website, in its entirety:

Dear Mr. Lamantia,

On behalf of the Mayor’s Anti-Animal Abuse Task Force, we wish to express our grave disappointment and concerns over the decision of the Philadelphia Eagles to nominate Michael Vick as the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award.

We believe that this nomination is premature at best and disgraceful at its worst. It is ironic that Mr. Vick’s teammates have selected him to receive an award in honor of a man who extolled that mankind should “work toward alleviating suffering and especially to alleviate the suffering of those who cannot help themselves.” Yet in response to this nomination, Mr. Vick seemingly laments only the hardships that he has endured as a convicted felon rather than those he imposed on the many victims of his crimes.

Mr. Vick apparently acknowledged, by virtue of his guilty plea, that he engaged in a cowardly and sadistic criminal enterprise for more than six (6) years, which terminated not because he saw the errors of his ways, but because he got caught. To date, we believe that he has done nothing more than fulfill the terms of his federal sentence. Aside from demeaning the memory of Mr. Block, there is a risk that bestowing this award to Michael Vick may unwittingly glamorize the brutal crime of dogfighting rather than deter it.

While we question the wisdom of this decision, we commend the Philadelphia Eagles for initiating a Treat Animals With Kindness (TAWK) program, which educates children and adults concerning animal abuse and dogfighting. Mr. Vick has several teammates who have voluntarily advocated against violence and abuse and who would appear to be more suitable candidates for such an honor. We believe that Mr. Vick is neither courageous nor a role model and that he remains an inappropriate recipient of such a prestigious award.

Very truly yours,
Caroline A. Griffin
Chair, Mayor’s Anti-Animal
Abuse Task Force

Comments

Comment from Anne’n'Spencer
Time January 27, 2010 at 7:04 am

Someone in the city government has a backbone. Bravo!

Comment from baltimoregal
Time January 27, 2010 at 10:56 am

I want to take a minute to thank Caroline Griffin for this, as well as the task force’s role in the decision NOT to have Vick come and speak at local schools. This kind of leadership is something we don’t have enough of and it is especially wonderful to see it coming through on the behalf of animals.

Comment from Anonymous
Time January 27, 2010 at 3:10 pm

This is absolutely ridiculous. The man paid his debt to society and got his life back on track. Give him a break, he deserves this award.

Comment from McKenna
Time January 27, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Anonymous — Would you feel the same if Vick had tortured and murdered people? No, of course you wouldn’t because your comment illustrates how you have no appreciation for life other than the lowly human.

Comment from Alexis
Time January 28, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Anonymous: the only people who feel that Vick “paid his debt to society” are thugs just like him – probably including YOU. There is NO way that he has even stepped one tiny inch along the way to true atonement for his crimes and if you think for one minute it was just animals he has harmed you’d better first look at his background and what he has also been in trouble for in the past. AND then look at the harm done to people including children that not only learned of his crimes against animals-and the offenses related to those-but who are going to set themselves on similar paths to Vicks because HE MOSTLY GOT AWAY WITH THESE CRIMES AND HAS BEEN HEAPED WITH WEALTH AND ADULATION after fulfilling (barely) the slap on the wrist he “survived.” The fact that his teammates nominated him for the clearly mis-named humanitarian award just clarifies for me that there are definitely two kinds of biological entities in this society: good, honest caring people and evil, money-grubbing lying thugs.

Comment from ConcernedBaltimorean
Time June 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Ya know? Am I the ONLY one who sees how it seems that these types of incidents have INCREASED since the glamorization of Michael Vick!?!?!?!?
Poor Mr. Vick — he got caught and had to serve time. . .BooF’nHoo! He got off easy! He should have been sent to FEEL some of the pain he dished out!

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