The Southeastern Virginia Arts Associationâ€™s (SEVAA) First Annual Black-Tie Honors Gala on March 26th in downtown Norfolk should be a lively affair.
(”You say controversial, I say inspirational”)
From the SEVAA’s press release on the black tie affar:
This year also marks the first year of SEVAAâ€™s Annual Black Tie Honors Gala, which is organized to honor those individuals that have made significant contributions to the positive image and progress of African-American culture in the Hampton Roads community.
We are extremely proud to honor Attorney Carl C. La Mondue and NFL Superstar Michael D. Vick as our first annual honorees. Michael D. Vick has epitomized the meaning of â€śheroâ€ť not only by his unparalleled accomplishments on the gridiron, but more importantly, by his relentless resilience in overcoming the obstacles he has faced in his career, defying the odds and nay Sayers, and becoming a true example of life success for all to emulate.
So what’s SEVAA’s motivation for honoring such a controversial figure?
SEVAA President Michael Muhammad told WTKR-TV’s Jummy Olabanji that he doesn’t consider Vick controversial.
“Since he was released from federal custody, Michael has been more than an example of how to redirect your life after troubled times.
“You say controversial, I say inspirational.”Â
But from additional details provided by WVEC-TV in Norfolk and WTKR, SEVAA’s first-ever ‘Black-Tie Honors Gala’ might not be all about the appreciation of the arts - with the “inspirational” Vick merely a sidelight.
It turns out, the event is actually a direct response to local police officers demanding the $33,000 SEVAA owes them for past security services.
WVEC’s Sula Kim: “This is SEVAA’s first-ever black tie gala, the organization fizzled out after last year’s Afrâ€™ Am Fest. SEVAA was in doubt, it owed money to Norfolk police officers who provided security for the Afr’ Am Fest.”
SEVAA Chairman Muhammad to Kim: “The debt stands at around $33,000 dollars at this time, to the public safety officers.”
Considering the likelihood that the SEVAA won’t be staging future local arts festivals until Norfolk police officers are paid the money SEVAA owes them, is it unreasonable to think Vick’s name is being used to get the cops to … forgive me … call off the dogs?