Bo Schembechler statue vandalized with message about Robert Anderson’s alleged sexual abuse survivors
A statue of Michigan football head coach Bo Schembechler on the school campus was disfigured overnight Wednesday. It was covered in red paint and was also graffiti. According to a report by David Jesse from Detroit Free Press, the act of vandalism was prompted by support for those who alleged that former Michigan team doctor Robert Anderson sexually abused male athletes throughout his career under the guise of medical treatment .
The graffiti post, which read “Bo Knew #hailtothevictims”, implied that Schembechler – Wolverines head coach from 1969 to 1989 – was aware of Anderson’s sexual abuse allegations but did nothing to stop them. This position was shared by an anonymous resident of the neighborhood who sent an email to Free press take responsibility for the act of vandalism.
“This action is carried out in solidarity with the Hail to the Victims campaign”, one can read in an e-mail sent by an anonymous e-mail address “Boknew”. “Bo Schembechler has long been considered an iconic Michigan coach, but he knew that Robert Anderson, the team’s doctor in the 1970s and 1980s, sexually assaulted countless players every year. When Bo’s son had him faced with his own assault, Bo hit him and told him to shut up.
“Bo pulled the strings and bent over backwards to make sure Anderson could keep his job. It’s about time the world knew that Bo is responsible for the abuse of countless Michigan football players.”
An October Michigan Radio report indicates that an investigation into Anderson’s misconduct claimed his abuse ranged from unnecessary hernias and rectal exams on patients seeking treatment for unrelated problems and consideration arrangements where he provided medical services in exchange for sexual interference.
A law firm hired by the University of Michigan concluded earlier this year that Anderson had committed such acts on “countless occasions” over nearly four decades. In October, the number of sexual abuse complaints against Anderson – who died in 2008 – exceeded 2,100.
While Schembechler has been revered as the greatest head coach in Wolverines history, former Michigan soccer players have claimed he turned a blind eye to Anderson’s activities, refusing to protect the players and allowing Anderson to continue his abuse.
Daniel Kwiatowski, an offensive lineman in the 1970s, claimed he told Schembechler that Anderson assaulted him, but his coach told him to “get tough.” Matt Schembechler also claimed his father ordered University athletic director Don Canham to reinstate Anderson after Canham fired him, despite Matt being one of Anderson’s victims.
Schembechler died in 2006.