Joe Paterno: What Would You Do?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (how’s the view from down there?), by now you’ve heard of the controversy with Joe Paterno.
As you can see from a few social media blurbs I put together through Storify, social media went haywire over the decision today. Some were supporting the decision made by Penn State to fire the legendary coach while others were damning the school for condemning a man who did not commit the crime. You can see there are, of course, factors brought into the conversation based on the psychology of why Paterno made the choice to keep as quiet as he did about the terrible things he was aware of.
But was it the right choice?
Personally, the idea of violating a young child in the way that Jerry Sandusky did for fifteen years is absolutely repulsive. To assist in such a despicable crime, even by way of keeping it more or less a secret, makes you just as guilty. I think Penn State was more than justified in making the decision they made.
For a school to riot over Paterno’s release shows a weakness in our society’s morality. It’s one thing to condemn Michael Jackson for child molestation based on the stories told by some of his “victims” (don’t get me started), but it’s quite another to walk in on the crime and slap a man on the hand. Not allowing Sandusky to bring kids on campus anymore after he was caught anally raping a 10-year-old boy … really? That’s all he got back in 2002? For shame.
It’s important to note here that this goes further than “firing our coach” and “tarnishing a legend,” as Penn State rioter Jeff Heim stated. Think of this not by how it will affect the football team, but how Sandusky’s actions must affect the poor eight victims who were violated at such a young age. When did our society start caring more about sports than the well-being of our fellow man (or, in this case, child)?
Sorry, Paterno supporters, but this blogger has got to say it: grow the hell up.
What do you think? If you were in Paterno’s shoes, would you have spoken up louder? Do you think he did the right thing by taking it to higher-ups and letting them deal with it how they chose to? Do you think the riots speak ill of our generation’s morality? Sound off in the comments!