Lately I've found myself listening to Sports Talk Radio in Boston. Being a sports fan from New England is almost a natural. Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots and Bruins are all legendary teams. At least to us. Much like politics here, which most consider a contact sport. Although they should never mix, just as Mayor Menino and try not to laugh as he tries to pronounce Wes Wekler. Res Wreckler?
The real no-no's in pleasant conversation are politics and religion. Which seems to be true as the silence from all of the politicians when the clergy sexual abuse scandal broke in Boston ten years ago still echoes. And I mean all politicians, from both parties. There were no profiles in courage.
Which brings me to Penn State. I spent a good part of the afternoon today listening to WEEI's The Big Show with Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley as they fended off a lot of Penn State apologists. Who sounded awfully similar to the Catholic Church apologists.
Serial child abuser Sandusky is in jail for life now and Joe Paterno is dead. Time to move on. Others who may have facilitated the cover-up are still being investigated like Tim Curley and Gary Schultz. More justice will be served by the actual guilty parties. Time to move on. And leave statutes and football alone.
Serial child abuser John Goeghan and Cardinal Law has moved to Rome. Time to move on. We are investigating it. Time to move on. And leave all the good priests alone. Stop Catholic bashing.
A little tweaking and the playbook is the same. Penn State apologists are fighting to prevent an NCAA imposed Death Penalty to the football program. Meaning no football for a year or two. Which isn't really death because there is a form of resurrection involved. Maybe play in the Easter Sunday Bowl?
The main argument in saving Penn State football is that innocents should not be punished for the acts of these few. You can insert Catholic Church for Penn State, assign the statement to the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, slap him on Fox News and it's the same story.
Both Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley agreed, some innocents will be hurt by the Death Penalty but believe it sends a strong message to other NCAA sports programs that may find themselves in a similar situation. And instead of covering up for the crime, those in charge will report it so as not to suffer the same consequences.
In essence they will report the sexual abuse of children to save their sports program first. The children second. That is an incredibly sad and probably true statement.
As far as we know Penn State covered up for Sandusky's crimes for fourteen years. "Covering up" is a nice way of saying allowing him to commit more crimes, because that is exactly what happens. That makes them co-conspirators in facilitating his access to victims.
Why did they do this? To protect a football program worth $99 million dollars according to Forbes Magazine.
A football program that grew during those fourteen years of cover ups. Everyone, innocents included benefitting from the active cover up. Profiting because of the cover up. And the apologists don't want to lose that share.
Just like Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia being found guilty of child endangerment because he covered up for sexual abuse by priests under his supervision, he did so to protect his position. He didn't want to lose his share. Because priests and Bishops who speak up lose theirs. So, sorry kids, you're on your own. Unless we prosecute a few more. Then they will report pedophiles to protect their position rather than go to jail.
Just like Ordway's observation, Bishops will report sexual abuse of children only when it will protect their job and position. Not to protect children.
It is up to all of us to protect children and hold those accountable who are abusers and their protectors. With the harshest measures possible. Because the numbers are staggering. One in every four girls and one on every six boys will be sexually abused before the age of eighteen.
For the first time in my life I will say I am in favor of the Death Penalty. For Penn State.