Ravens 2017 Recipient is Undeserving
The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to supporting the well-being of abused, neglected and at-risk children throughout the Courage House National Support Network for Kids.
Each year, the foundation honors NFL players who exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Every fall, all thirty-two teams are asked to conduct a vote to select a recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award for their team. Only the players vote and they vote with the understanding that their team recipient symbolizes professionalism, great strength and dedication.
He is to be a role model in the community.
All 32 nominees become part of an association that contrasts a fierce profession against the caring and compassion for the kids in need, who comprise the Courage Houses around our great country. And in doing so, the proud players, these special men of character, become Ambassadors of Courage for victims of abuse, violence and neglect.
This year’s Ravens recipient is a player who is familiar with adversity. He missed the 2015 season due to a biceps injury suffered in training camp. During the team’s 2016 training camp he suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for half the season. But he fought through the knee injury and the team was so inspired by his determination that they used the one arrow in their quiver in 2016 to recall a player from the Reserve/Injured list, on him.
His peers took notice and he was named the Ravens recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award this fall. The former Florida Gator was the Ravens first pick following Super Bowl 47 and he was supposed to help ease the transition from the post-Ed Reed years. Instead he will go down as the biggest draft bust in team history. And now he’s about to disgrace the Ed Block Courage Award, if he chooses to accept the award on March 11, 2017, just two weeks after his arrest in South Florida.
You see, the Ravens recipient tried to escape a police pursuit at high speed on the streets of Miami this past Saturday, February 25. He was eventually pulled over and as the cops approached his vehicle they were treated to a cloud of pot smoke from perpetrator’s car where they discovered a Gucci bag on the passenger floor containing 126.2 grams of marijuana, oxycodone pills, cash, a Rolex, and other assorted jewelry and gems.
Oh, and the perp’s passenger had a gun tucked in his waist – an unregistered weapon.
How disgraceful it would be to all other recipients, past and present, who have done so much for their teams and their communities, to have Matt Elam as a peer?
Yes Matt Elam is the Ravens nominee for the Ed Block Courage Awards in 2017.
If Elam has a morsel of the character his teammates believed he possessed, he should decline the award immediately. And even if he doesn’t, let’s hope the Ed Block Courage Foundation has the courage to rescind it.
Ed Block was a hero in many ways. He served under General Patton in World War II and earned a Purple Heart. He set the bar for athletic trainers in professional sports as a member of the Baltimore Colts and perhaps most importantly, he was a compassionate and giving man who dedicated his later years to making a difference in the lives of children in need.
Don’t undermine the value of this prestigious award by placing Matt Elam’s name beside it.
The Ravens front office missed on him badly in 2013.
Please stop his teammates from doing the same in 2017.