Penn State Football: Keep Your Mouth Shut, Jay Paterno
Jay Paterno, please shut up. Yes, we all understand that Joe Paterno was your father. No one really blames you for trying to defend your father. It is our duty as children to defend and honor our parents. However, the more you open your mouth, the worse you make yourself look.
Your father's reputation has already been damaged beyond repair. The best thing you can do for your forever tarnished father's legacy is hush and stay out of the spotlight.
The Paterno family released a statement after the removal of Joe's statue outside Beaver Stadium. The main idea of this statement was that tearing down the statue would not serve the victims or help heal the Penn State community.
The family is completely missing the point. That statue was supposed to represent what he stood for as not only a football coach, but as a man and a human being. Joe was supposed to stand for honor and dignity. The victims of Sandusky do not see honor and dignity for those involved. The Penn State community has been devastated because their fierce leader was scared to tell someone the simple truth about what was going on.
In an ESPN interview with Tom Rinaldi, Jay said that the information given was nothing new, just interpreted differently. He said a few times that his father was the only leader in this situation by wishing he had done more. According to Jay, the Freeh report is filled with "reasonable conclusions, not facts." After review of 450 Penn State personnel, 30,000 messages and emails, along with the testimony from the Sandusky trial, what do you not consider facts? What do you consider not "reasonable"?
Guess what, Jay? The true measure of a leader is what he or she does when their back is against the wall. The measure of character is doing what is right in the face of criticism or even failure. Your father was a leader on the football field. For a number of years, he taught college kids to become not only winners, but men. However, when there were young kids that suffered what they did from one of his closest friends and dedicated ambassadors for his program, Joe Paterno's leadership and character suffer to the point of extinction.
Jay accuses the Freeh report of not knowing exactly what his father did or did not do or say. The problem is that Jay was not aware of his father's actions either. The only person that knows what Joe Paterno did is Joe himself. He's not here anymore. He can't tell his side of the story or defend himself. The emails, text messages and interviews are all we have to go by. All that evidence leads to the fact that Joe Paterno, among others, did not act efficiently to prevent the horrible things that happened to those victims.
Here's some advice for Jay Paterno: shut up. The more you talk, the more you defend your father's shortcomings. The more you deny what your father did or didn't do, the more you damage not only what's left of your father's legacy, but your own family's name. There's nothing American society hates more than somebody wrongfully playing victim. The "woe is us" deal will only make people criticize and judge your father even more.
The best way to protect the leftovers of Joe Paterno's legacy is to remove it from the public spotlight. That was one of the reasons to remove his statue, to remove his name from prominent buildings. Jay, you and your family should continue to live your life like your father should have. Do not continue to set your family up for more criticism and disdain.
The less we hear from the Paterno family, the better for everyone involved.
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