Victim blaming in Pennsylvania

November 22, 2011

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania reports that "Victim One," the first of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky's alleged sex-abuse victims, has been subject to intense bullying by his high-school classmates, who blame him for head coach Joe Paterno's firing. Victim One, a senior nearing graduation, finally left school.

Like so many stories in the wake of everything that's happened at Penn State--students rioting here, truth-tellers harrassed there--this seems on the one hand like a bizarre example of our culture's blind loyalty to sports heroes in general and the absurd idolatry of big-time college football in particular.

On the other hand, blaming a victim for sexual violence--and for the inconvenience of addressing it instead of pretending it never happened--is par for the course, football or no football. Christ have mercy.