Everyone (Ahem) Loves a Good Redemption Story

[Content Note: Rape apologia; child sex abuse.]

So. There was that whole Penn State child sex abuse case, which you might remember since the abuse was just uncovered last year, and it was just last month that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison for abusing 10 boys he met over 15 years—crimes that were concealed and abetted by multiple members of the Penn State football program and university administration.

Well, obviously it's time to put all that ickiness behind us and give Penn State its redemption story. I mean, it's been A WHOLE MONTH.

Thus, new Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien has been nominated for Coach of the Year. Obviously.

Jess breaks it down here. Go read her post because it's great, and it really teases out all the ways in which this nomination plays into the nature of redemption and how fucked up it is that we even desire a redemption story for a bunch of fuckos who concealed and abetted child rape.

The instinct behind this nomination is gross for a lot of reasons, not least of which is because it effectively serves to create the line past which anyone who still cares will be considered a grudge-holder, a bitter hysteric who can't "let it go" and "move on." This is the official "Get Over It."

And if we keep holding institutional condoning of child rape against the Penn State football program, despite the fact there has been no meaningful accountability within the program—or, for that matter, outside of it, where sexual violence is still a central feature of sports hazing—then we're ruining the lives of innocent players and coaches. And really, when you think about it, that makes us the REAL monsters. (Barf.)

Which underscores what another subterranean purpose of this nomination is: A bellicose fuck you to anyone who had the unmitigated temerity to ask for accountability on behalf of children who were sexually abused and safeguards to require vigilance to prevent future victimization. "We won't kowtow to the forces of basic decency! Take that!" Ooh bravo. What a bunch of fucking heroes.

If Penn State had any decency at all, they would politely decline the nomination with the explanation that its football program needs to quietly earn public trust again before commencing public celebrations of its awesomeness.

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