PA--Punish Penn State hockey team

For immediate release: Monday, Jan. 19

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,,

Penn State’s hockey team, both students and staff, should be punished for their callousness. (Players sported “409” stickers on their helmets at their most recent game.)  

At a minimum, Joe Paterno did too little to protect kids. More accurately, he was a coward who refused to call police about suspected child sex crimes. It’s wrong to keep honoring him and to rub even more salt into the already deep would of those assaulted by Jerry Sandusky and other child molesters.

It’s not enough for a coach to now apologize. An apology is nothing more than smart public relations.

The team has done harm. Some untold number of child sex abuse victims were hurt by this irresponsible display. Even more will read and hear about it and be hurt. A few who may have been considering reporting their perpetrator to police or prosecutors now will likely not do so, thus endangering more children. (“What’s the use? Everyone rallies around the popular and powerful folks. No one will believe me. I’ll be vilified.”)

Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour is wrong when he claims “It’s been corrected.” The stickers may have been removed. But the harm remains.

Those who publicly gloat over the restoration of Paterno’s wins are immature, misguided and heartless. Shame on them. Penn State’s administration should stop tolerating and start punishing their hurtful actions.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy 314-566-9790,, Barbara Dorris 314-503-0003,, Barbara Blaine 312-399-4747,


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