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Leading by Example

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith and his fiancé Chanel Williams are getting married next month and they’ve made a wedding gift request that you certainly don’t hear every day. Instead of traditional gifts, the couple has asked that guests donate to the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) to help homeless animals in the Baltimore Area.

It may seem a little out of the ordinary, but this is just the latest act of advocacy by Smith and Williams. After adopting a pit bull named Mama (they have another pit bull named Prince) from BARCS, the two became big time BARCS advocates. Smith also participated in an anti-cruelty movement called “Show Your Soft Side” where Baltimore athletes and other members of the community had their pictures taken with their dogs and cats to go on billboards around Baltimore under the tagline “only a punk would hurt a cat or dog”.

Before his efforts for homeless pets, Smith first caught my attention last season when after learning that his 19 year old brother Tevin had been killed in a motorcycle accident, he decided against sitting out and instead vowed to play for Tevin and the rest of his family. Smith scored two touchdowns in what ended up being one of the greatest games of his career on what must have been one of the most trying nights of his life.

Months later Smith became a Super Bowl champion. Add that to his engagement to Williams, and a pit bull adoption and he seems to be on the right track.

I don’t know Mr. Smith, but when I saw what he did last season and what he and his soon to be wife are doing now for BARCS and for pit bulls, it’s difficult not to feel a sense of pride. I guess it’s great to see great people setting great examples. It seems that Torrey has a tremendous sense of the right thing to do and I’m sure that Prince, Momma and all the animals at BARCS are glad he is taking that sense and following through.

Written by: Alistair Thompson, ACPB Volunteer