FALCONS ADDRESS VICK SITUATION
Several readers and media members have sent to us a copy of a letter than Falcons owner Arthur Blank and G.M. Rich McKay have sent on Friday to the franchise's season ticket holders.
The letter appears to be an exercise in damage control due to the ever-unfolding Mike Vick dog-fighting investigation.
The full text of it appears below. . . .
June 8, 2007
To Our Season Ticket Holders:
This off-season has certainly presented a lot of challenges to us, and we realize it has been difficult for our fans. Therefore, we thought it would be helpful to let you know where we are as an organization.
Any time a player in our league – and especially a Falcons player – shows up in a negative light for any act, it is disappointing to us. While unsubstantiated to date, the current public situation concerning Michael Vick puts us in a particularly difficult spot because of the daily attention it is receiving in the media, and our inability to respond because we don't yet have all the facts with which to deal.
We hope you understand it would be inappropriate and premature to make any definitive statements or take any action until we know the facts. Therefore, we are awaiting the outcome of the investigation just as you are. For the benefit of our fans, the Falcons and Michael, we hope there will be a quick and clear resolution to this matter so we all can move forward.
In the meantime, we want you to realize there are many examples of our organization impacting our community in a very positive manner.
We have a large number of players on our football team who go above and beyond in giving back to our community. For example, this off-season Tight End Alge Crumpler was one of four NFL players who spent 12 days on a USO tour to U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Defensive Tackle Rod Coleman, through his foundation, gave metro Atlanta teenagers a head start on their adult careers by sending them to a Youth Business Camp. Linebacker Keith Brooking continued his efforts to serve foster children through a golf tournament fundraiser and an upcoming Tailgate Kick-Off fundraising event.
Veteran Fullback, and first-year Falcon, Ovie Mughelli is in the process of adding Atlanta as a site for his Ovie Mughelli Project, which seeks to improve the quality of life for underprivileged children through summer football camps and educational programs. And, 2004 Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient, Running Back Warrick Dunn has touched the lives of 69 single parents and a collective 181 children, helping them to become first-time homeowners by making down payments on new fully-furnished homes. Finally, a good number of our players are participants throughout the year in activities funded by the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation, which to date has provided more than $10 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the state of Georgia.
These are just a few examples of our community commitment. We cite these examples not in any way to diminish any concerns you might have right now, but to encourage you to keep a perspective on the collective efforts of our players and our club.
Be assured we are intensely focused on preparing for the 2007 season. We are very encouraged by Head Coach Bobby Petrino's efforts in putting together an exciting team and schemes to make us highly competitive on the field. There is no doubt that Bobby’s expectations for our team are clear with our players, and their dedication is evident in the mini-camps and other practices that have taken place to date. The attendance and dedication of our players – including Michael – this off-season has been outstanding. We fully expect that to translate to a very successful 2007 campaign.
Over the last five years, we have worked very hard to build a winning team and a respected franchise for our fans and the Atlanta community. You have responded in a positive manner, and we thank you for your support and loyalty. We respectfully ask for your understanding as we work through our current situation.
Arthur Blank Rich McKay
Owner & CEO President & General Manager