Gridiron Grace: Michael Vick’s football camp gets second chance

Image courtesy of S.K. Patrick

Former Pro Bowl quarterback Michael Vick and Pro Bowl wide receiver Chad Johnson were set to host a football camp in Louisville, Ky.

However, due to the controversy from his dog fighting ring in 2007, administrators at Jeffersontown High School rejected the camp one month ago. The camp was also punted by Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

But, St. Stephens Church stepped up to the plate and opened their football field to the camp. According to church organizers, it was important for the church to allow Vick to have a positive impact on the youth of Louisville and show second chances can go a long way in life.

Hope and Change

Football camps have traditionally had a huge impact in the black community for youth. When these young players see others from similar backgrounds achieve success, it gives hope.

Vick and Johnson participated in drills with the kids. Johnson was more active in the drills, going head-to-head playing defense against the wide receivers. Vick devoted the bulk of his time giving pointers to the young QB’s.

“It’s important for the black athletes who have done well in the NFL or NCAA to come back home,” stated Langston Gaither, Community Outreach Coordinator for St. Stephens Church. “Even if they don’t live here anymore, they bring their own teams. They can tell you I grew up on this street or I played for this team.”

The camp, held from 12 noon to 6 p.m., originally had a registration fee of $110 dollars. But, it was waived and the event was sponsored by the company Created Players, LLC. Thirty-five coaches helped lead the camp. Approximately 600 kids attended the camp to be inspired and become better athletes.

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