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Vick coming to Baltimore for Block award

News that Michael Vick is expected to attend the 32nd annual Ed Block Courage Awards dinner in Baltimore Tuesday has led to a change in the ceremony’s format and an increase in security.

Vick, who was convicted in 2007 of running a dogfighting ring, is one of 32 winners to be honored with the award, which singles out one member of each NFL team for his courage, sportsmanship and inspiration to his community.

Vick’s unanimous selection by his Philadelphia Eagles teammates triggered angry e-mails to the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation, a petition drive and a planned protest by dog lovers and animal welfare activists at the award’s ceremony, to be held at Martin’s West, 6817 Dogwood Road, from 4 to 10 p.m.

More than 100 people have already signed up to protest at the event — a number that could grow as a result of the news that the quarterback will be attending.

In addition to scrapping the long-standing tradition of having the athletes mingle with fans and sign autographs,  organizers say they are boosting security, according to the Baltimore Sun.

“We’ve put in place enough [guards] to make sure that our players are safe and that everything runs smoothly.”said Ed Block Courage Award Foundation spokesman Paul Mittermeier.

The Block Award is named for a former team trainer of the Baltimore Colts, who worked for years to help abused children.

 Criticism for bestowing the award on Vick has come from groups ranging from animal rights activists to the American Kennel Club. “It is unconscionable that a man who tortured and abused helpless animals be honored by an organization dedicated to ending abuse,” the AKC said.

Vick will be accompanied to the event by Michael Markarian, chief operating officer of the Humane Society of the United States,  a group for which the quarterback has made public appearances in recent months, attempting to steer youth away from dogfighting.

Comments

Comment from Pat
Time March 5, 2010 at 11:52 am

Philadelphia fans are appalled not only eagles signed this piece of garbage but with all the people who really deserve such an award that is would be awarded to this sicko psycho path is unforgiveable.

Comment from Miss Jan
Time March 5, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Precisely and exactly why I have notified HSUS that I have completely discontinued donations to that organization. I simply am unable to fathom the support that Vick is getting from this INhumane organization which I now find has been investigated continually regarding its use of donations and the Block organization which could if it wanted to refuse the award despite Vick-supporting bloggers and forum posters legions of comments that it can’t do that. YES, it can It just does not WANT TO. Just goes to show that the idolizing support of violence and money vastly exceeds common sense and decency.

Comment from Bladerunner
Time March 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Everybody is an expert on everything. Thank God someone invented internet for people who truly believe that anyone cares what they think about any topic they want to spout off about. Unless you are inside any of the inner workings of these organizations, how do you know what they Can and Cannot Do? Want and Not Want to do? Get a life…what Vick did was horrific! He went to jail, served his time, has pledged to turn his life around, is working hand and hand with groups to educate people about the evils of dogfighting, and has made such an impression on his team mates (men who spend many hours close and personal with him) that they nominated him for this honor, yet that’s not enough. You continue to rage on.

Comment from Theresa
Time March 9, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Unanimous means 100% of the players voted for him! Which did not happen! How could anyone in their right mind vote for Vick to get a Courage award!? When asked if all the players voted for him by the media no
one answered! Look at the meaning behind the award!!!

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