I am not at all for living legends. Yes I believe in letting persons know how we feel about them when they are alive but the legend status should be reserved for the dead and the statutes and monuments erected long after you are gone so that your track record could be documented and debated and you are not around to make any faux pas after the statues are up.
Of course this did not help the movement of Lord Nelson's statue in Bridgetown. If anything it was history and a bit of ignorance that led to the shifting of the statute from looking down through the town to looking to the East. The public debate surrounding this was very interesting but there was no special public fall out because of the move, as the debate petered out like hot air, but then this is Barbados.
Joe Paterno however will have no such luck. His brand has become a public relations nightmare and he is losing accolade after accolade. According to Bloomberg his alma mater, Brown University has taken his name off that school’s annual athletic award and is now reviewing his place in the school’s athletic Hall of Fame. As well the “school will make a decision in the next 7 to 10 days about whether to remove an on-campus statue that honors Paterno.”
Maybe it’s too late for advice to Paterno, but for other persons in leadership positions there is a lesson to be learnt in all of this. And that is, you may not be the perpetrator but it is not ok to know and sweep unpleasant situations under the carpet. As leaders we are expected to lead through good and bad situations. You must take action! To quote Edmund Burke “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."