Phil Knight: Nike Chairman Justified in Defense and Tribute of Joe Paterno
Nike co-founder and chairman Phil Knight has never been shy with anything.
His company is one of the largest in the entire world and he exercises his power from time to time to get things done his way. Some people don't care for his treatment of the University of Oregon. Some people simply hate Nike altogether because of him.
But when Knight took the podium at the Joe Paterno memorial service, he said and did all the right things.
JoePa passed away on Jan. 22nd at the age of 85; only a few months after he was fired from his 46-year-job as the head football coach of Penn State.
Phil Knight knew Joe Paterno well, so well, in fact, that he anointed him his new hero after his former track coach and partner, Bill Bowerman, passed away 1999.
It is safe to say that Knight loved JoePa like so many others that were close to the legendary coach. But Knight took things to another level while at the podium and did so because it was the right thing to do.
He honored JoePa, but he also defended him, stood up for him and said what many believe but haven't been able to say.
In regards to the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal that ultimately cost JoePa his job, Knight said, “Whatever the details of the investigation are, this much is clear to me: There is a villain in this tragedy that lies in that investigation, not in Joe Paterno’s response to it.”
Knight was treated to a standing ovation following that statement; one he wholeheartedly deserved.
JoePa never got a chance to truly defend himself or see this convoluted situation through to the end.
Knight should be commended for doing it for him. He said what he truly believes and, what many others believe, is the overwhelming truth.
Joe Paterno is no longer with us, but he can rest easy knowing people like Phil Knight have his back.
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