I get it.
The ongoing Urban Meyer investigation is nothing more than a PR campaign. When Ohio State officials issued a statement in which they promised a decision within “fourteen days”, it meant they plan on bringing him back, unless more damning evidence comes out before then.
So of course, a hundred or so clueless individuals showed up for a rally in support of Coach Meyer last Monday. And so I composed a letter to them. To the vast majority of Ohio State peeps who get it, please understand that I bear no ill will to you, your school or your sports programs. This is for the small minority of fools whose priorities should be questioned, not simply by yours truly, but by anyone who knows them.
I’m writing to you on behalf of all the battered women out there who have more important things to do than post a blog. Important things, like survive. They don’t have time to ask Urban Meyer why he would aid and abet a known abuser over all these years. They don’t have time to ask why you thought it was a good idea to hold a rally for someone like Urban Meyer.
Thing is, you were probably quick to slam Penn State. Michigan State too. And you were right on both counts, of course. Because the respective administrations of those two schools needed to be held accountable for horrific cover-ups. Problem is, your indignation seems to have been more about conference affiliation- The Lions and Spartans are Big Ten rivals- than about concern for the victims.
Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t expecting much from your small (thankfully) contingent. And yet, you managed to give us so much less anyway. Because wins and conference titles and playoff appearances are what matter most to you. Because you let us know that when you held a rally for a coach who is still employed because he can supply those things to your fan base.
If Urban Meyer was anything less than a great coach, he would’ve been gone by now. You would have been plenty fine with doing the right thing . . in that instance. But in this one, Meyer did wrong, and then he perpetuated that wrong by keeping an abuser on his payroll, and the only reason you’re okay with that is because of his 73-8 record.
What does it say about you . . that you would stand behind a bad guy like Meyer? That you would rally for his job when the facts demand that he be gone? What does it say about you that wins matter more than Courtney Smith’s well being? That wins matter more than the women who are being abused every single day? What does it say about you that, when you had a chance to do the right thing and demand that Meyer be fired immediately, you chose to hide behind his 73-8 record? What does it say about you, that you chose cult behavior over courage and compassion?
You should be ashamed of yourselves. But as that rally you held for Urban Meyer shows us all too well, you have no shame. Because the truth is, you might have been able to make a real difference in the interim. As your school waits it out in the hopes they won’t have to fire Meyer for his transgressions, you could have stayed neutral to the decision while still making a statement of hope and change. Because while an independent panel of investigators that includes three Ohio State trustees conducts its sham investigation, you could have issued a preemptive warning to Meyer’s second act, which seems more likely by the day. You could’ve put Meyer on notice.
You could have gotten together in support of all the women who are abused every single day. You could have gathered to remember all the women who have lost their lives to their abusers. And in so doing, you could have sent a message to this big name coach and his big deal program that by helping one abuser, they do an injustice to all those who are abused.
Because your cowardly rally comprised of weak minded individuals? It was the stuff of lemmings. You trashed journalists for uncovering the truth. You belittled a movement that is trying to move out of the dark ages. You defended a coach who hides behind bible study sessions and plausible denials. And why? You did so in the name of trophies.
I thought you should know that since you held your little rally on Monday? Twelve women have been murdered by their current or former male partners. And by the time this investigation is completed by that other Urban Meyer fan club? Thirty more women will have been murdered by their current or former male partners.
Your football coach is part of the problem, and so are you.