Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Donte Stallworth deserves this year's Ed Block Courage Award

Donte Stallworth is the Ravens’ recipient for this year’s Ed Block Courage Awards. Unfortunately those close to Stallworth are a bit disheartened by the negative feedback directed towards the Ravens’ receiver. Stallworth pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter back on June 16, 2009 and shortly thereafter served a 30 day sentence. He also paid the Mario Reyes family (the victim) an undisclosed sum of money and sat out the NFL's 2009 season.

Admittedly when I first heard of the plea my first response was, “typical entitled athlete.”

I was wrong.

Since Stallworth joined the Ravens I have heard through sources that his attorneys wanted to take the case to trial because they were supremely confident that they would win. Stallworth didn’t want to “win”, he simply wanted to make sure that the Reyes family was taken care of financially because the accident took from the Reyes’ their primary and arguably only wage earner.

I have also spoken to folks with knowledge of the area where this accident took place (McArthur Causeway near Miami Beach) and I’m told that what Reyes did as a pedestrian to force the tragedy could have caught the most lucid driver by surprise and the outcome would not have changed.

To his credit, Stallworth simply wants to do the time – pay his debt to society. He wants to get beyond this unfortunate yet defining accident. There is much more to this story that I cannot share at this time but trust me when I say this, Donte Stallworth is a very good man who is extremely remorseful for an act that could have happened to many of us, myself included.

I have learned something from this man. Perhaps Sergio Kindle could as well.

Stallworth’s teammates know his story – they know the truth and that’s why he’s this year’s Ed Block Courage Award recipient for the Baltimore Ravens.

And you know what?

He deserves to be.

Congratulations Donte.


Jerry B said...

There will always be those who choose never to forgive, but from all accounts, this guy took full responsibility for his actions, paid his debt to society and is a very deserving recipient for this reward. An excellent choice.....