About time: Nike drops "Joe Paterno" from name of child care center.

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

About time: Nike drops "Joe Paterno" from name of child care center.

The building formerly known as Nike's Joe Paterno Child Development Center

It took nearly eight months, but Nike has finally decided to rename the Joe Paterno Child Development Center.

From NBC Sports:

“I have been deeply saddened by the news coming out of this investigation at Penn State,” said Nike Chief Executive Mark Parker, a Penn State graduate, in a statement. “It is a terrible tragedy that children were unprotected from such abhorrent crimes. With the findings released today, I have decided to change the name of our child care center at our World Headquarters. My thoughts are with the victims and the Penn State community.”

It comes in the wake of a report by former FBI director Louis Freeh, hired by the university to investigate the university response. From the AP:

The Freeh Group's report issued Thursday said that in order to avoid bad publicity, president Graham Spanier, football coach Joe Paterno, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz "repeatedly concealed critical facts." The report says the men "failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade." The report says all four knew about a 1998 investigation into [Jerry] Sandusky that didn't result in criminal charges at the time, but none alerted the trustees and none took further action against Sandusky.

It's about time.

Previously on BlueOregon: Pressure building on Nike to rename "Joe Paterno Child Development Center"

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Another tragic story and without defense. The good old boy network trumps the protection of children, in the church and in the corporate structures, and now in collegiate athletics.

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    Kari, I was just seeing this headline on other websites and thinking to myself that I wish we didn't waste news space on this story any longer...

    • (Show?)

      Do you really think it's a waste of space to cover a story regarding justice administered and truth told regarding those who prey on children and those in power and positions of authority who are complicit? That's a waste of space??

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    Score one for the good guys. ;-)

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    i have several Nike friends, and they are good people. let's be careful about what we mean by "Nike". i'm sure many people who work there have been embarrassed by these things.

    • (Show?)

      Nike's course of action speaks for itself.

      Kobe Bryant remains a huge, huge part of their public image, despite the fact that medical evidence shows that he sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman in 2003 and then had his legal team drag her name through the mud.

      She got death threats and decided not to testify against him, so the charges were dropped. And now, with Nike's help, the whole world thinks he's a hero because he can play a sport.

      I can only imagine how it feels for the woman Kobe raped to see his face on every billboard and commercial with Nike's global seal of approval. Yuck!

  • (Show?)

    Here's just one small reason why this matters to me. My son is four years old ("four and a half!" he insists.)

    Since he could talk, he has identified the Swoosh symbol with sports. And I mean that quite literally. Show him a swoosh, and ask him what it means, and he'll say, "It means sports."

    This is a kid who, for weeks in 2009 (when he had just started to talk) would regularly point into the distance while we were driving and say, "Barack Obama! Barack Obama!" It took me forever to realize that he was pointing out American flags. (In his world, every time he saw Barack Obama, he was accompanied by an American flag. So, rather logically, he assumed it was his personal symbol.)

    If the Nike swoosh is so closely identified with sport that a pre-literate toddler recognizes it as such, then I think we've clearly crossed the threshold where Nike needs to act like a responsible corporate citizen.

    In many ways, Nike is an amazing company. In many ways, there are longstanding complaints about their business practices. But months and months after knowing that Joe Paterno had covered up child abuse, Nike was still honoring him by naming their otherwise-exemplary child care center for him.

    I'm glad to see that Nike has finally done the right thing on this one. At long last.

    • (Show?)

      Well stated and personalized, Kari. As a survivor myself of childhood sexual abuse by persons who were trusted and protected, esteemed by the community, protected by other adult people in power, willing to look the other way for decades, who betrayed the primary responsibility of any civilization, to protect children, I have no respect for such people or organizations, or for false legacies or corporate willingness to trade on it.

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    No doubt the Penn State case is one of the ugliest public scandals in recent years. Frankly I'd like to see all who failed to report these crimes behind bars. That being said, injecting Kobe Bryant or Tiger Woods into the discussion is ridiculous. To post Kobe Bryant raped a woman is libelous. Tiger Woods may be a philanderer but no crime there. Happy Valley is a distinctly different level of hell.

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