“If you’re aware of sexual violence and don’t use the full strength of your power to stop it, you’re just as complicit and responsible,” DeAndre Levy said.
Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy made waves last week when he said in a Men’s Journal profile that he was “proud” to have accidentally broken the leg of former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, who he called a “dirtbag.”
In a first-person piece published Sunday in the Detroit Free Press, Levy elaborated on the comment.
“I hope me speaking in jest about my ‘proudest moment’ doesn’t distract from the serious sentiment,” Levy said. “Any person or institution, Joe Paterno included, that turns away from or fails to act against sexual assault is a ‘dirtbag.’”
During a game in 2006, Levy, then playing for Wisconsin, hit Paterno while making a tackle near the sideline. The then-79-year-old coach fractured his tibia in the collision.
Paterno died in 2012, just as the Jerry Sandusky child rape case was developing. Since his death, details have emerged about Paterno’s role in concealing Sandusky’s crimes, including an accusation that he was aware of allegations against Sandusky as early as 1976.
“If you’re aware of sexual violence and don’t use the full strength of your power to stop it, you’re just as complicit and responsible,” Levy said in the Free Press piece. “We have to stop prioritizing sport over humanity and the worse things a person can do, including failing to disrupt DECADES of sexual violence.”