As the child abuse charges against Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno and Penn State University administration as a whole first surfaced everyone seemed to be astounded, denied it could happen and responded by initially supporting Sandusky.
For people in the field of child abuse prevention and for the survivors of any abuse we were appalled by the support of Jerry Sandusky and Penn State at large. We asked ourselves, how do they not see what we see? How do they not hear what we hear? Don’t they understand children don’t lie about abuse? Thankfully this weekend I watched Sports Reporters with Host John Saunders and commentators Bob Ryan, Mike Lupica, and Israel Gutierrez. Not only did they talk about Sandusky but they called him out, Stop this continuation of abuse and exploitation of these survivors – admit your guilt so they don’t have to suffer through this trial. As they looked directly into the camera, holding back tears, asking Mrs. Sandusky, Where the hell were you? How did you not stop this? Wow – this was a powerful moment for me watching these grown men finally “get it” and now as outraged as everyone should be. Grown men, their hearts seemingly broken over what happened to these children, and not over the breakdown of the beloved Penn State.
I have been waiting and hoping that this would happen before the survivors had to go through the painful experience of sharing their abuse in a court room. I was wishing that someone, anyone would advise Jerry Sandusky that he has done enough harm – admit your guilt and go away and do one decent thing for not only those you abused but for the world. When the commentators turned to the camera and called the Sandusky’s out – “I am talking to you Mary Sandusky” tears rolled down my eyes, I clapped, feeling maybe just maybe if these men now get it…the world might get it too.