Gerry Sandusky, a sports broadcaster, has been mistaken as Jerry Sandusky
Sandusky has received thousands of hateful messages
"You're a disgusting vile human being," one message said
The furor over Jerry Sandusky has died down some now that the former Penn State football coach has been convicted of serial child sexual abuse.
But for Gerry Sandusky, a sportscaster for the Baltimore Ravens, the backlash continues.
Not that Gerry Sandusky has done anything wrong.
His only offense is that he shares the same name with the man who preyed on young boys and who was convicted on 45 counts related to child sex abuse.
Take a look at recent postings on Gerry Sandusky’s Twitter page.
A woman named Jessica wrote “@GerrySandusky you’re a disgusting vile human.”
Sandusky responded: “Wrong guy. I’m Gerry with a G. Baltimore sportscaster. No relation to the former Penn St coach who spells his name with a J.”
Another person tweeted: “hope you get knifed in prison.”
Another asked: “@GerrySandusky I’m just confused…why would you do such things to children? #mean”
Sandusky said he received thousands of these messages. And he is trying to stay patient.
“The general consensus is people inviting me to an extended stay in hell, or a miserable death or prison rape,” Sandusky said. “I received a lot of F-bombs. I can understand the confusion. It is an emotional, heinous crime. I can understand the reactions. You just have to keep a sense of humor with this.”
Sandusky said he knew he would be in for a tough time back in November when the Jerry Sandusky scandal first broke.
The sports announcer said he was riding in the team bus as the Ravens were on their way to play the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Everybody on the team bus was chatting and many were shooting stares at him. Sandusky went to see what all the commotion was about and then quickly realized he would be forever tied to one the most salacious sports scandals of all time.
“I thought to myself this was not going to go away for awhile,” Sandusky said.
The attacks and negative messages started right after the news broke, they intensified during the trial and got even worse after the verdict.
Sandusky changed his biography on his Twitter page to say “I am Gerry with a G. Baltimore sportscaster. No relation to the former Penn State coach.”
But that did not stop the attacks.
Christian H. from Connecticut was one of the many who sent Sandusky a nasty tweet.
“At first glance I thought it was him. In my mind Sandusky is a sick animal and shouldn’t be here,” said the 21-year-old who did not want his last name used because he feels bad about what he wrote on Twitter. “I definitely feel for the guy. I respect his work in sports, but he needs to change his name because people are going to keep messing with him.”
Sandusky said he is not going to change his name, and he refuses to let the other infamous Sandusky hijack the brand he has built working in sports for more than 30 years.
In fact, Sandusky said he interviewed the other Jerry Sandusky early in his career in 1987 when he worked at a Miami television station. He went to the Fiesta Bowl when the Miami Hurricanes played Penn State and interviewed Jerry Sandusky for about 10 minutes.
“He seemed normal like any other football coach,” said Sandusky. “I did a little novelty story about our names being the same. Little did I know that 30 years later that name thing would cause so much trouble for me.”