Jerry Sandusky…Look at that name for a moment. Stare at it. Get real familiar with it. Why? Because this is a name many of us will never forget for the rest of our lives.
Sandusky served as the assistant coach of the Penn State University football team until 1999. His coaching career alongside Head coach Joe Paterno was faltered a few weeks ago, when he was arrested on counts of sexual abuse where young boys were involved. The university also decided to fire their legendary football coach, Joe Paterno, who is being accused of “not doing enough” to make sure that these heinous acts by Sandusky were not occurring.
These accusations are said to have taken place when Sandusky ran summer football camps at Penn State for the young boys. The testimonies of Sandusky’s alleged victims are so vivid that they make you cringe upon hearing them.
But this isn’t a story about what could potentially happen to Sandusky. This isn’t a story about how this event will affect the Penn State Football team due to the absence of the legendary “Joe Pa.” No, it goes deeper. This is about our society.
These past weeks have probably been the most disturbing time in sports I’ve ever experienced during my life. Hearing the recollections of these young men, who were supposedly sexually abused by Sandusky, triggered a variety of different feelings. I felt shock in what Sandusky was accused of doing; sorrow for the victims involved and their respective families; and disgrace for Penn State University students and how they handled the situation. But out of all the emotions I recall, fear is what stands out the most.
I’m fearful for the society that our kids are being brought up in. Too many of our youth are becoming examples of this sick epidemic called sexual abuse. In today’s nation one out of every six young boys are sexually abused before the age of 16 and many of the cases are not reported until years after the abuse has occurred.
We can no longer sit in silence and ignore this, because this is exactly what happened in Sandusky’s situation, taking almost a decade later for the testimonies to come to light.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” The silence must be broken, because if not, this pattern, this crime, this sickness, will continue. You and I will begin to hear growing incidents of our youth being abused and manipulated! This is our future my brothers and sisters! We must protect it by protecting them!
The silence will be _____________. I’ll let you fill in that blank. Godbless.
By Allen Martin