When a woman was assaulted by his teammate, a college football star refused to stay silent

Penn State University.

Most parents hope they raise kind humans. Those that will show up for a friend in need without looking for a pat on the back for doing so. This story about a college student who was sexually assaulted in the '70s by a popular and beloved college football player shows exactly what it means to be the kind of person who shows up for someone in need. Betsy Sailor was a student at Penn State University in the late '70s when she accused a football player of assaulting her at knifepoint. Nevertheless, the football season continued and the players closed ranks around the star player leaving Sailor isolated and fearful. That is until Irv Pankey knocked on her door.

Pankey was a star football player at the time who would eventually go on to play in the NFL. He had everything to lose by showing support to a person who publicly accused his teammate of rape, but after hearing the ordeal play out in court, he couldn’t sit back quietly. Being a Black football player in 1978, it was risky for him to break ranks with his team, but his position in society is what helped him understand what it was like to feel isolated. Pankey told ESPN reporters Todd Junod and Paula Lavigne that he thought to himself, “She does not deserve to be a pariah. You will never have to walk alone again.”


And she didn’t. Pankey became Sailor’s protector walking her to class and making sure she felt safe. The two became inseparable during their time at Penn State. Pankey would invite Sailor to parties that he threw and the football players in attendance all knew and respected her. In the late '70s it was still a rare thing for women to report sexual assault, and when they did, they were often not believed or worse, they were blamed for their own assaults based on how they were dressed or how much they had to drink. For a college student to stand up and accuse a star player of assault at a time where social outcasting was almost guaranteed to happen was a brave, bold thing to do, and the players at Pankey’s get-togethers understood that.

Sailor says in ESPN Films' new documentary "Betsy & Irv," “I felt a bit of respect, and the respect came from, I believe, a woman that was taking on something quite large. And the majority of people that I was dealing with were Black football players that had certainly been up against battling big things in their lives.” Sailor recounts that Pankey’s kindness in showing up for her gave her a sense of freedom that she felt she otherwise wouldn’t have had.

The player that assaulted Sailor, Todd Hodne, was eventually kicked out of school and later went on to serve a life sentence in prison for various crimes including the murder of New York taxi driver Jeffrey Hirsch. It was revealed through investigations that Hodne had assaulted multiple other women, including while out on bail for Sailor’s assault.

Pankey's act of kindness was bigger than the time the pair spent together on campus and it made a lasting impact on Sailor’s life. Irv Pankey went on to play for the Los Angeles Rams and Betsy Sailor worked in HR, but after 40 years apart, the admiration and love can be felt through the screen watching "Betsy & Irv." It’s clear from their story that one act of kindness and showing up for someone in need can make all the difference in the world.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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