Michael Vick hasn’t made the biggest impact as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, but his teammates think very highly of him.
According to reports, the Eagles roster voted and awarded Vick with the Ed Block Courage Award, an annual honor given to a NFL by his team in memory of the former Baltimore Colts trainer.
The award is usually given to a player who has overcome a major injury or some other insurmountable difficulty to contribute to the team. While Vick has overcome the stigma of being convicted of running a dogfighting ring, some feel the honor isn’t warranted.
PETA isn’t happy about it. In a statement, the organization criticized the NFL team for awarding Vick, saying he should be the last person pointed to as “a model of sportsmanship.”
“The Philadelphia Eagles fumbled when they gave Michael Vick the Ed Block Courage Award, which was named after a man who advocated in behalf of abused children,” PETA said in a statement. “Michael Vick should not be the person anyone points to as a model of sportsmanship, even though he has now exchanged dogs for touchdowns after serving time for extreme cruelty to animals. We wish him well in educating others, but this is not appropriate and does not mark a joyous moment in NFL history.”
Since his released from prison in May, followed by a two-month house arrest stint, Vick has made it a point to speech to kids about the mistakes he’s made and the correct way to treat animals.
Vick says he’s so glad his teammates have recognized his hard word.
“I’ve had to overcome a lot, more than probably one single individual can bear,” Vick told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Take a look at what I’ve been through. You ask certain people to walk in my shoes, they probably couldn’t do it. Probably 95 percent of the people in this world–because nobody had to endure what I’ve been through, situations I’ve been put in, situations I’ve placed myself in, decisions that I’ve made–whether they were good or bad.”
His teammates feel the same about the honor. The team’s starting quarterback, Donovan McNabb, said was “well deserved.”
“I don’t care what people say on the outside,” McNabb said. “That was something voted on by his peers.”