Sunday, November 13, 2011

How Did This Happen?

I am not a sports fan, by any means. In fact, I hate football. But this post isn't about football. This post is about pain; betrayal; indifference; criminal behavior and a particularly vile human being.

Yes, Joe Paterno led the winningest college football team of all time for more years than I've been alive. That's something to be proud of, I guess. But at what cost?

When the scandal first broke, many of my friends and co-workers were stunned. I was horrified. You all know the details, I'm sure. Jerry Sandusky, a married man with children and former assistant coach at Penn State, has been accused of molesting boys he mentored as part of the Second Mile Foundation, a charity he founded. Some of these boys were as young as seven years-old!

Sandusky was caught twice; once by a janitor in 2000 and again by Graduate Assistant Mike McQueary in 2002. Neither of them went to the police. The janitor, Jim Calhoun, told a co-worker but feared for his job. McQueary went to Paterno, who in turn reported the incident to his supervisor. NO ONE went to the police and neither of the men tried to intervene, even though they walked in on Sandusky while he was raping a young boy. Yes, you read that correctly. The two men walked in on the acts, but neither tried to stop them. WHAT?!?

There are so many things wrong about this whole mess, I can't even begin to count them. And just as sickening as the abuse, is the cover-up. Why has it taken 11 years for this to come to light? Why was Sandusky allowed access to these children? Why didn't anyone call the police? Jesus wept!

To me, there is nothing worse than the abuse of a child; be it mental, physical, emotional or sexual. As far as I am concerned, Sandusky should be castrated and locked away alone in a dark room for the rest of his life. As for Paterno and the others who have lost their jobs, I don't feel sorry for a single one of them. It's called "silent assent" and by not reporting the abuse to the police immediately, they are just as culpable. 

And of course, homophobic a-holes are using the whole thing to make the point that gay men are pedophiles, which just makes me angrier at Sandusky. The truth is, pedophilia has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Still, creeps like Bryan Brown, Maggie Gallagher and Rick Santorum will use the situation to promote their anti-gay platforms, despite every report which confirms that sexual orientation is never the motivator in such cases.

Everybody loses here. Paterno; the former President of Penn State; McQueary; Penn State students and players; Penn State fans and supporters, and the LGBT community. Of course, those most hurt -- the victims of Sandusky's assaults -- are the ones we should be concentrating on. These poor kids will never trust an authority figure again. And can you blame them? No. Blame Sandusky and everyone else who lied and covered for him. I  have absolutely zero sympathy for those who ruined their own lives by doing nothing to stop a monster from destroying the innocence of so many. In fact, the whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.

OK - another rant over, though I'm sure as more details come to light, I'll be angrier and angrier about the whole thing.

More, anon.


Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I agree with everything that you say here sir. The fact that innocent boys that just wanted to realize their dreams of being sports heroes were victimized by this scumbag makes me so angry.

DeepBlue said...

The worst is that these things happened more often than we think...

Stephen said...

The Right Wingers are blaming it on same-sex marriage.