This New York Times article explains that Ohio congressional representative Jim Jordan insists he didn’t know that wrestlers on a college team he coached were being abused; and backers say he is the victim of conspirators who are trying to bring down the U.S. president.
The university’s investigation ,being conducted by the firm Perkins Coie LLP, should be relied upon to determine the truth here, not the court of public opinion. This is a classic case of attempting to turn the accusers into villains. It also appears to be a case where the allegations were open secrets. If Jordan was not aware, given his close proximity to the situation, he was inept. If he was as close to the players as both he and the players acknowledge, it begs a fundamental question on why the players did not go to him for intervention and support. Could it be, as is the case in most of these situations, they were afraid? Given Jordan’s abrasive and overly aggressive style, my bet is that the fear factor was at play.
In this case, the culture of fear that is likely the fundamental cause for Jordan’s allegations began in the 1980’s but has been and continues to be the modus operandi of many organizations in North America to this day. In my book, ‘From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire’, I share my views on the dictatorial culture that creates this fear, how it affects the victims negatively, and what to do about it whether the victim or a witness. This is another example of how bystanders can and must come forward to expose injustice and bring about positive change.