WASHINGTON — News broke on Monday afternoon that the national nightmare of Penn State’s child molestation scandal would have an unfortunate footnote. Jeff Sandusky, son of disgraced assistant and convicted predator Jerry Sandusky, has now been charged with 14 counts of sex crimes relating to children:
Jeff is entitled to due process in the judicial system, but the details of the case are enough for the court of public opinion to jump to immediate conclusions.
Unfortunately, innocent people do get dragged through the mud on days like this. Just ask Gerry Sandusky, radio voice of the Baltimore Ravens, who is not Jerry Sandusky, nor is he related to anyone in that Sandusky family.
It’s just a very unfortunate coincidence. Gerry has been a victim of mistaken identity and a target of online abuse for years dating back to the original scandal.
An avid user of Twitter, he has always handled the situation with grace, but today was another onslaught of abuse worthy of one of his periodic tweets on the topic:
This is obviously not the first time that Gerry has had to play defense about his name. His Twitter bio reads: “I am Gerry with a G. Baltimore sportscaster, voice of the Ravens, communications coach and author. No relation to the former Penn State coach.”
To his credit, he has never hidden from the issue and would not change his name to avoid confusion.
“Over the last couple years I’ve learned through the journey, it’s not my name to change,” he explained after releasing a book on his personal journey. “Gerry Sandusky is the name I have in stewardship that my parents left me — my father and my mother left me a great name, and I intend to do the same thing for my kids.
“I’m not going to give that up. That’s something I take personally. It’s my responsibility.”
Even if that responsibility includes fielding all manner of threats of violence and damnation.
So if there’s one tweet worth retweeting today, it’s for Gerry with a G.