Bo Schembechler statue vandalized with message supporting victims of predatory Michigan doctor

The statue on the College of Michigan campus honoring famed soccer coach Bo Schembechler was vandalized Tuesday evening with a message of help for victims sexually abused by a former crew physician.

Crimson paint was thrown over the statue and on the base in black paint have been the phrases: “Bo knew #hailtothevictims.”

An nameless native resident appearing in solidarity with the Hail to the Victims marketing campaign for males sexually assaulted by Robert Anderson, a sports activities physician on the college within the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties, claimed duty for the defacement, in accordance with an electronic mail despatched to the Detroit Free Press.

“Bo Schembechler is lengthy seen as an iconic Michigan coach, however he knew that Robert Anderson, the crew’s physician … was sexually assaulting numerous gamers annually,” the e-mail mentioned.

It additionally referred to Matt Schembechler, Bo Schembechler’s son, who mentioned he was molested by Anderson when he was 10 and taking part in soccer for a “Junior Wolverines” crew in 1969. He mentioned he informed his father, who responded by screaming, “I do not need to hear this.” That was adopted by “a punch within the chest,” Matt Schembechler mentioned over the summer time.

The e-mail went on to say: “When Bo’s son confronted him about his personal assault, Bo punched him and informed him to maintain quiet. Bo pulled strings and bent over backwards to make sure that Anderson might preserve his job. It’s time for the world to know that Bo is answerable for the abuse of innumerable Michigan soccer gamers.”

Bo Schembechler died in 2006.

Lots of of individuals, principally males concerned in sports activities, mentioned Anderson molested them whereas working because the college physician. A federal class-action lawsuit filed in Might claimed the college put college students in danger by failing to implement insurance policies to forestall sexual violence on campus. The college has acknowledged the sexual assaults and is working with survivors via a confidential, court-guided mediation course of.

“The College of Michigan gives its heartfelt apology for the abuse perpetrated by the late Robert Anderson (deceased in 2008),” College of Michigan President Mark S. Schlissel mentioned in a press release earlier this yr.

In early October, former Nationwide Soccer League participant Jon Vaughn, who performed for the College of Michigan, began tenting in a tent exterior Schlissel’s house, initiating a sit-in protest claiming the college will not be doing sufficient to guard college students from sexual assaults.

“As a sufferer of sexual assault, it was like being on an ever-shrinking island,” Vaughn informed NPR. “And as soon as I used to be capable of get the braveness to talk my fact, that island began to get larger, and my inside energy began to develop.”

Dozens of individuals joined him final month, together with different former athletes who mentioned they have been molested by Anderson. Vaughn was nonetheless tenting out Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, a cleanup crew started washing the purple paint off the statue in entrance of the campus soccer constructing.

“We perceive and recognize the passionate advocacy on behalf of those that have been abused by the late Robert Anderson,” Rick Fitzgerald, affiliate vp for public affairs, mentioned in an electronic mail. “However the vandalism to the College of Michigan statue of Bo Schembechler might be investigated absolutely so as to maintain these accountable accountable for his or her actions.”