Ever since his days as two-time All-American linebacker at Penn State, LaVar Arrington has always been one to speak his mind. Now an analyst for the NFL Network, stating opinion is a key part of Arrington's job.
And ever since his days at Penn State, Arrington has been one to proudly profess his love for the school. Since the mid-1990s, he has sported a Nittany Lion logo tattoo on his left arm. In 2015, he and his wife named their baby daughter "Penn."
Those strong opinions and love of PSU came to a confluence Monday, when Arrington took to Facebook to write an open letter to Nittany Lion fans. In it, he urged Penn State backers to stop feeling the need to apologize for the Jerry Sandusky scandal — though he never mentioned Sandusky by name. He also stated that PSU fans have "been made fun of, insulted, frowned upon," and that he is "sick of it."
He added, "We do not and should not have to justify ourselves for an isolated wrongdoing within our community. If that were the case, I think everyone everywhere — all schools, all people — would have to do it." Also, "It's odd to me that I'm still trying to find peace within all of the chaos that one man’s actions led to."
Here is everything Arrington had to say.
Message to Penn Staters
The second someone asks me where I went to college I instantly anticipate what the next question will be.
We've been made fun of, insulted, frowned upon.
I'm sick of it, there's nothing wrong with the pride and dignity we hold in our hearts for our school. I felt guilty to be proud of who I am and what I represent as a PSU'er.
Even in knowing I/we had nothing to do with what happened.
It's odd to me that I'm still trying to find peace within all of the chaos that one man’s actions led to.
We do not and should not have to justify ourselves for an isolated wrongdoing within our community. If that were the case, I think everyone everywhere — all schools, all people — would have to do it.
So it needs to STOP!!
There have been so many discussions about clearing Joe's name and that's perfectly fine by me. In the grand picture of all of this it should be clear that we all are accused of being guilty of what happened and it's NOT OK. I don't recall being at Beaver Stadium with 100,000-plus and us eating hot dogs and popcorn watching these horrible happenings on a Saturday morning or afternoon.
So today I'm writing this to burry once and for all the feelings I've been wrestling with for many years now.
Let's all agree that to some degree justice has been served for the few that were responsible. As for Joe, he was never guilty of anything by the letter of the law PERIOD.
WE Are not a cult football community that blindly defends our school.
Heck, truth be told, the football program isn't even the most successful one on campus. We Are great across the board.
WE Are students of higher learning, WE Are professionals in the work force that drive the world and American economy. WE Are fathers, mothers, daughters and sons.
WE Are people that just happen to have a Ton of pride about who WE Are ... PENN STATE!!
It falls on us to continue to restore and revive what PSU means. No matter how many "stories" accuse or condemn, ultimately We Are the ones that possess the true power to tell our story!
So today I challenge us all to come together and burry all of the guilt, embarrassment, shame, anxiety, anger, pain, regret and all the other feelings that this scandal created.
It was and continues to be the actions of many that put the "We" in We Are … Penn State.
The truth is the stories surrounding clearing Joe's name has been a saga that seems to challenge the validation and vindication of us all. The reality is every last one of our accomplishments in life and what We have represented for so long is not only Joe's vindication, but ALL of ours. We should not have to go on trial when we say what school we went to.
I'm proud to be a Penn Stater "dammit" and I'm proud that You are ... We Are Penn State together!
I'm proud every time I see that Nittany Lion logo!
I'm proud of every time I hear We Are!! Penn State!!
The media or everyday interaction with people will never remove the love I have for my school or my alums.
That's it — WE ARE PENN STATE and only those who lived it can understand it and that's all that matters to me!
One can only apologize so many times... The apologies and regrets have been issued in true sincerity, TIME TO MOVE ON!!
Case 11: LaVar Arrington vs. his feelings.
The "Case 11" refers to the number Arrington wore while at Penn State.
Expectedly, scores of Nittany Lion fans and dozens of fellow former players have been squarely behind Arrington's statements in the form of "likes" and "shares," even though he has a private Facebook page. Some former players have even offered comments.
Former PSU receiver Bryant Johnson: "Well put Lavar Arrington!!!!!!!! We Are.."
Former PSU running back Eric McCoo: "I want to thank my gridiron brother Lavar Arrington for putting out there what so many of us deal with and feel about this situation. We Are for ever Penn State! #8"