Joe Paterno's Lung Cancer Diagnosis Doesn't Change Anything (VIDEO)

Joe PaternoYesterday, both Scott Paterno and Jay Paterno revealed separately that their father Joe Paterno has a "treatable" form of lung cancer, and Jay reminded us to "keep focus on the victims of this whole tragedy." No doubt the sons of the former Penn State coach, who was recently fired for his blatant neglect in handling the Jerry Sandusky child rape allegations that came to him years ago, are genuinely worried about their father's health and doing what they can to lighten the public burden that has piled up on their 84-year-old dad's shoulders.

"He has a tendency to minimize things," said Jay Paterno in an interview with ESPN about his father's reaction to his cancer diagnosis. Um, you think? That seems to be precisely what he has a tendency to do. Unfortunately, and without playing down his very real health issue, Paterno still must be made an example of for his irreparable choices in 2002.


Over the past several decades, I do think our society has opened up about child sex abuse -- and for the better. We are talking about it, naming it, and even naming the perpetrators. Even Oprah talked about her own childhood abuse to billions of viewers and shared her experiences with abuse by a family member. Jaycee Dugard, who spent 18 years in captivity with her abuser, told Diane Sawyer she wrote her memoir because, “It’s his shame, it’s not my shame." And that seems to, however slowly, be the way the world is finally beginning to see it. Less and less in these modern times do people think child molestation allegations can be simply swept under the rug and ignored.

Now if victims of the most horrifying abuses can speak out, it's about time that the adults in their communities come forward too, whenever they suspect something and for damn sure if someone witnesses something. It is our duty. Or should be. Yes, even when it's a well-known and loved individual who's suspected.

I'm sorry that Joe Paterno has lung cancer. I hope his treatment goes well. However, I also hope that when he recovers, he takes the time to publicly discuss his personal failings in this case. Only in that can others come forward or do better the next time. We need more men of respect to stand up for children of sexual abuse. To publicly decry this abomination against kids. To talk about the importance of speaking up. That way, maybe we can all learn something from Paterno's mistakes, especially other adults who have no idea how to talk about, let alone point the finger at and condemn the actions of these horrible predators.

WATCH Jay Paterno's ESPN interview:

Does Paterno's cancer diagnosis change anything for you? Do you think Paterno should speak out when he's healthy again?


Image via ESPN

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