I don’t know him. I don’t know much about him or his school. What I know is limited information about him having integrity, running a great football program and living in Happy Valley. And I didn’t care how much he won as long as he lost to the Buckeyes.
Now I know a lot more.
But I still don’t know much.
I don’t know what happened for sure. I read stories. And different stories at that. I kind of wish the newspapers would shut up. Can we just report the facts? Because I read stories from news papers that conflict what stories in other news papers report. I don’t know what to believe.
What I know, now, though is that Joe Pa’s greatest legacy does not need to be football. It can be integrity.
We can all read the stories and look back and say what he and countless others could have, should have done. If the stories are true than the coulda’s and shoulda’s are true. But I want to know the facts.
If Joe Pa has integrity, and let’s remember, you can not sometimes have integrity. You have it or you do not. If he has it he should address his school. His students. His coworkers. He should address this world and say:
The school did the right thing by firing me. I did not do enough.
Joe Pa could go on to try and learn more. He could teach more. He could address coaches, teachers, administrators, every football nut in the world. Joe Pa could say I did not do enough. He could say he thought he did, but seeing the big picture, he could say I have to learn from this.
I don’t want to hear Joe Pa, or any other adult who knew this was happening. Or had reason to believe it could be happening. Or suspected it. I don’t want to hear them defending themselves. I want them to say, if they knew, anything, they should have done more.
Because people are watching you. People who could learn from you. People right now have suspicions or knowledge of a child being hurt. And they are doing nothing. They are remaining quiet. They remain quiet because they don’t think it is their responsibility. They remain quiet because they don’t want to get involved. They remain quiet because they aren’t sure.
And while they remain quiet?
A child is being touched. He/she is being raped. You need to know the reality of what that does to a child.
I promise you, if you have never been sexually abused, you have no idea the level of damage being done to a child.
Joe Pa, you don’t know me. I don’t know you. But I am holding my breath. Anticipating. Hoping.
Do the right thing. Speak up for every child that is right this minute living a tortured life in hell because someone is hurting them. No one believes the monster touching them is capable of such things. So such things continue.
Joe Pa-tell your world the school did the right thing. Tell them you should have done more. Tell them we have all got to protect our children. Tell them that one child’s life is worth a lifetime of football legacy.
Tell the child that football is not as important as what happened to him.
Tell the child you are sorry.
Please Joe Pa. You can do the right thing now. There are still people like that man you trusted and thought you knew. There are children cowering. Hiding. Hurting. Stand up and speak out. Ask for forgiveness. Ask for us learn from your mistakes.
Stand up Joe Pa. You have a choice to make.
Protect a child. Now.