Continued Frustration for Current and Former USA Gymnastic Members

The USA Gymnastics sexual abuse scandal has been the largest sexual abuse incident in all of sport history. Recently, there has been another upset involving the cases. In February, a disclosure letter was released that determined that USA Gymnastics would be distributing the $217 million depending on “the geographic location of the abuse”; where gymnasts who were abused at locations held for the highest level of competition, such as the Olympics, would get paid the highest amount of money. This information was regarded as a disgrace, attorneys of the victims “calling it outrageous that payments would be determined based on where the abuse happened rather than the abuse itself.”. John Manly, a lawyer that represents a large percentage of the young females stated “that’s the grossest thing I’ve ever heard and is an insult.”.

More importantly, the victims want full disclosure to the information that explains what USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee knew about the abusers and why both of the organizations failed to protect the gymnasts from the sexual assaults. Five-time Olympic medalist Simon Biles is among the list of over 500 young females who fell victim to abuse by mistrusted adults who worked within the organization. Frustrated, for obvious reasons, she shared her thoughts with her 1.1 million twitter followers on February 29th, searching for answers from USAG and USOPC.

Biles’ frustrated tweets, searching for answers from USA Gymnastics and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. (Source: Twitter @Simone_Biles)

Six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman, a former teammate of Biles, is also among the list of young girls who suffered sexual assault within USA Gymnastics. Since coming forward in 2017 about the abuse she fell victim to, Raisman, has used her platform as an advocate to fight and put an end to the abuse that takes place in gymnastics. Raisman has condemned USA Gymnastics for how they dealt with the sexual assault accusations against Larry Nassar and other coaches and mistrusted adults: “Every single kid is important and I want USA Gymnastics to do a better job with that.”.

Shortly after Biles tweeted on Saturday morning, Raisman replied and expressed her suspicions of a conspiracy, accusing USAG and USOPC of being involved in “a massive coverup”.

Raisman’s reply to Biles’ tweet, accusing USA Gymnastics and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee of “a massive cover up”. (Source: Twitter @Aly Raisman)

Tweeting to her audience of over one million followers, Raisman continued to voice her anger, asking questions that she claims can only be answered if USAG and USOPC are forced to release documents and data. Raisman ends her tweeting spree by tweeting at Team USA and USA Gymnastics and demanding them to “stop covering up”.

More of Raisman’s tweets on her suspicions of a coverup and demanding USA Gymnastics to “stop covering up”. (Source: Twitter @Aly_Raisman)

Sadly, the sociological issue of hiding sexual abuse that takes place in female amateur and professional sports has been happening for decades. Reports and studies dating back to the 90s suggest the need for better protection and safer environments for female athletes. This advice should have been taken and should have been seen as a red flag for the ongoing problem. Instead, the suggestions were ignored and the despicable sexual assault incidents were brushed under the table, as they still are in today’s society.

The USA Gymnastic sexual abuse scandal is a hideous example that highlights the severity of the issue, that sport organizations and society fail to protect female athletes from sexual abuse. Time and time again, sexual predators abuse their power and exploit the trust of young female athletes, yet the incidents are scarcely brought to attention.

Eilidh M.

Featured Image: Members of the USA Women’s Gymnastics Team after winning the World Gymnastics Championship in October 2019. (Source: Getty Images/ Thomas Kienzie)

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