BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Ravens’ players have just picked the teammate they think has the most dedication, sportsmanship and courage.
Suzanne Collins reports the winner of the Ed Block Courage Award is no stranger to adversity.
The NFL career of Donté Stallworth hasn’t been easy. The biggest setback for the Ravens player came in 2009 when he crashed his Bentley in Miami and a man was killed. A guilty plea for drunk driving landed him in jail for a month. Now it’s a much better story for the wide receiver.
“This is the most proud accomplishment of my career because it’s voted on by my peers and because of what the award stands for,” Stallworth said.
Ravens teammates agree Stallworth has set an example of great sportsmanship, dedication and courage. Tuesday he received the Ed Block Courage Award after they voted.
Coach John Harbaugh says he’s seen the player mature and pay his dues.
“He’s really a quality person. He’s been through rough times, handled them as well as anybody can be expected to handle them,” he said.
Harbaugh says he’s proud of Stallworth, calling him a solid man.
Tuesday, Stallworth didn’t avoid the topic of his condition. Instead, he addressed it head on.
“I said all along I plan to use my situation as a teaching tool for children, other players in the NFL, really anyone, to make them understand the consequences that come along with making bad decisions,” Stallworth said.
Last year, another controversial player was picked for a Block award: Michael Vick. That choice outraged animal advocates because Vick had been convicted for dog fighting.
After Tuesday’s presentation, Stallworth spoke about taking responsibility for his actions.
“I was able to get through that stuff with family and close friends, many nights of prayer and a lot of positive thinking,” he said.
After signing children’s autographs and taking reporters’ questions, he turned instead to football and the playoffs. Stallworth’s face lit up as he talked about the game.
Players from all the NFL teams selected for an Ed Block Courage Award will be at Martin’s West in Baltimore for the presentation ceremony on March 8.