Let me preface the following by saying that I understand anyone who supports Vick. I'm angry at the position he has put the Falcons in, but I'm still waiting to see what the verdict is. I imagine there are many of you out there who have always like Vick the player or know Vick the person. You may not want to believe the indictment or give up hope he's innocent, and I have absolutely no problem with that. There's a lot of people with valid points of view on both sides. But there's one thing I hope most all of us can agree on.
Michael Vick has done nothing to deserve being honored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
During a press conference announcing the opening of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's 49th annual convention to celebrate the organization's 50th year, president Charles Steele noted that the organization would find some way to honor and recognize the embattled Falcon's quarterback who is under federal indictment on dogfighting charges.
At its most basic level, this is an infuriating thing to see. This event, which is supposed to honor Dr. King and host Barack Obama, a major candidate in the next year's presidential race, is about to be dragged down by people who want to honor Vick. Not support him, mind you. Honor being used in the same sense as it is being used for Martin Luther King, a famous civil rights leader who by his example made this country a better place. It makes me angry that some cheap publicity stunt could overshadow what otherwise looks to be an important and touching event. Because let's face it, that's what the SCLC is doing here. They're using Vick's misfortune to create a debate that's going to get them more attention.
I find that extremely unfortunate.
Maybe I'm reading too much into this. Perhaps the honor and recognition Steele talks about is really a way of saying good luck to Vick, who certainly needs a lot more than luck at this particular moment. If that's the case, then this angry rant is just echoing into the blogosphere. But if they're actually serious about honoring Vick, then I would ask where the honor is for more deserving candidates. Where is Warrick Dunn? Where is Alge Crumpler? Where is Jerious Norwood, who just started a charitable foundation of his own? I refuse to believe that any of them are less deserving of being honored than Mike Vick. A grown man making $130 million and getting into trouble off the field might deserve our respect or pity, but in no way should praise or adulation seep into that equation. I just hope the SCLC realizes that, as well.