Phil Knight, chairman of Nike, has been one of Joe Paterno’s biggest supporters throughout the Sandusky scandal. He spoke at “A Memorial for Joe” on January 26th and even called the late coach his hero.
Nike CEO, Mike Parker, would go on to explain the decision in a statement:
I have been deeply saddened by the news coming out of this investigation at Penn State. It is a terrible tragedy that children were unprotected from such abhorrent crimes. With the findings released today, I have decided to change the name of our child care center at our World Headquarters. My thoughts are with the victims and the Penn State community.
Knight also released a statement:
Other than my parents, my college coach, Bill Bowerman, was the biggest influence in my life. Bill Bowerman and Joe Paterno shared some great qualities. Throughout Joe Paterno’s career, he strived to put young athletes in a position to succeed and win in sport but most importantly in life. Joe influenced thousands of young men to become better leaders, fathers and husbands.
According to the investigation, it appears Joe made missteps that led to heartbreaking consequences. I missed that Joe missed it, and I am extremely saddened on this day. My love for Joe and his family remains.
Despite Knight’s final line, the “Joe Paterno” Child Development Center is no more.