Going against popular opinion is never easy. Especially when you are an organization based on donations. But this is what the director of the Maryland SPCA, Ailene Gabbey, has done. And I praise her for it.
“The Maryland SPCA remains shocked and disappointed that Michael Vick will, indeed, receive an award for courage from the Ed Block Foundation after being nominated by his team. Mr. Vick does not deserve this honor. He has been convicted of horrific crimes against living creatures; he has served jail time; he has somehow been re-employed. His attempts to speak on behalf of animals have been half-hearted and disingenuous. None of this warrants a special award.”
“No truly courageous or honorable person would say ‘Yes, I deserve an award.’ Yet, this is precisely what Mr. Vick has done, defending his nomination and claiming that he has suffered hardships. He has never suffered the hardships, or torture, that his poor dogs did at his hands. The honorable thing for Mr. Vick to do would be to not accept this award. This would actually show some courage and that he is serious about being on the road to atonement for his terrible actions against innocent lives.”
I’ll admit I’ve never been a big football fan. But when I was a kid in Maryland, the Colts were MY team. I loved them. I may not have understood the game, but I understood the community pride they built in a city that needed the boost. When they moved to Indianapolis, I never forgave them.
I do not believe that the people currently running the Ed Block Foundation are living up to the motto of their foundation. Which is, straight from their website:
The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation is dedicated to ending this vicious cycle of pain and despair. With a network of 19 Courage Houses nationwide, we have been able to help over 1,000,000 children for more than 30 years.
With abuse in animals being linked so closely to abuse in people. I truly believe that the people of this organization have lost their perspective and vision. Just getting people to talk about your foundation, isn’t good business sense. You have to make sure that any ‘buzz’ generated is positive. People care about what their dollars are doing. About who is representing their dollars.
Cruelty in any form is cruelty. Having a face that has been linked with cruelty is not good business.
With Michael Vick attached to the Ed Block Foundation, I certainly will never give them any credence. He does not represent the cessation of cruelty but the embodiment of it.