On Thursday, Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy went semi-viral for his comments on Joe Paterno. He said his proudest moment as a player was breaking Joe Pa’s leg when he was in college, and then kept going with the criticism by calling him a ‘dirtbag’.
When something like that happens and everyone picks it up and writes about it, you normally see these guys back track and clarify their statements so they don’t have to deal with the bullshit and can move on. DeAndre Levy isn’t that kind of guy, though. He wrote a guest article for the Detroit Free Press this morning and doubled down on his comments.
I hope me speaking in jest about my “proudest moment” doesn’t distract from the serious sentiment. Any person or institution, Joe Paterno included, that turns away from or fails to act against sexual assault is a “dirtbag.”
Imagine your son, nephew, cousin or young male person in your life goes away to football camp or has a trusted relationship with a coach, but their vulnerability is taken advantage of and their trust violated in an act of sexual assault. Years later, a story breaks and sheds light on a decades-long pattern of sexual abuse. And then it becomes known that one of the most powerful figures in that football program knew of it at various points but failed to act diligently. In broad strokes, that’s how I understand the case of Penn State, Jerry Sandusky and Paterno.
I don’t blame him because he’s not wrong. Joe Pa did turn away and ignore that stuff. So good on you, DeAndre. I love when athletes stand by their opinions and don’t fold with public pressure.
So let’s watch this video again for old time’s sake.