Nike’s World Headquarters Campus near Beaverton, Oregon, has a child day care facility called the Joe Paterno Child Development Center. They aren’t interested in changing the name, but they’re keeping an eye on things.
“Our relationship with Penn State remains unchanged,” Nike said in a statement. “We are deeply disturbed by the claims brought forth in the indictments. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
I think the most important question is HOW CLOSELY DO YOU HAVE TO MONITOR THIS? Go ahead, Mark Parker, get right up against your television screen with a magnifying glass and watch Mike McQueary equate “not calling the police when you saw children being raped” to being in a snow globe. My job as a comedy sports blogger is to type sh*t like “well at least they got rid of the Jerry Sandusky statue! I wonder why they built it in the showers! Derp!” but I am not Jay Leno and South Park episodes aside I don’t think any of this is funny. It’s f**ked up. The closest the situation should be monitored is Nike hearing “Penn State child sex scandal” ONCE. This isn’t Tiger Woods sleeping with strippers, it isn’t some gossip game for TMZ to capitalize and emphasize at will; this is a dark, scarring, systematically-abusive belch of humanity.
The worst part is that the irony of the title is less inappropriate than Nike reenacting Penn State’s stance on the scandal. The abuse to these children wasn’t reported because the people who knew about it thought it was more important to protect themselves and their reputations. That’s what Nike’s doing. Mark Parker, Nike’s president and CEO, graduated from Penn State in 1977. Paterno was called “Nike coach Joe Paterno” in Donald Katz’s 1994 book Just Do It The fact that children were sexually abused is less important than smearing the reputation of and embarrassing the college football coach with whom you’ve had a long, successful relationship. Protection of the institution.
I hate this. I hate writing about this. Nike should be making shoes and deluded basketball ads, not inquiry statements. Stop enabling rape culture, and better yet, stop making me type “rape culture” on the Internet.