The Olympic Committee is giving the U.S. Gymnastics board six days to resign
It’s frustrating that it took over two decades to get Larry Nassar in jail, but it looks like justice is finally being served for his victims. Over the course of two weeks, the survivors of his abuse gave impact statements that not only moved the the judge and the public, but some of the organizations that enabled Nassar’s abuse throughout the years. In light of his 175 jail sentence, the Olympic Committee is forcing the U.S. Gymnastics board to resign within the next six days, and really, it’s about time.
The women he abused were not only traumatized by Nassar, but also U.S. Gymnastics and the University of Michigan, since both organizations were warned about his behavior.
Scott Blackmun, the head of the Olympic Committee, said that although three of the USAG board members resigned this week, the remaining 18 board members need to leave and put an interim board together by the end of next month if they want to retain its status as a governing body for sports. Blackmun wrote in a letter, obtained by CNN, that it wasn’t because they believe any one USAG member was at fault, but that the entire organization was in need of a “rebuilding” and to address the circumstances that led to decades of abuse.
Blackmun wrote, “Please understand that the circumstances that led to this crisis demand our attention and intervention. These steps are intended to help USAG create a culture that protects and supports its athletes in the way I know we all want to do.” Luckily, the USAG is on board. It said in a statement:
"...the requirements imposed by the letter will help us enhance our ability to build a culture of empowerment throughout the organization, with an increased focus on athlete safety and well-being. Our commitment is uncompromising, and we hope everything we do makes this very clear."
Hopefully, the board will take a look at the procedures they have in place to address sexual assault and take responsibility for where and when they failed their gymnasts. Aly Raisman called out the USAG in her victim impact statement asking for just that. She added in a statement yesterday that Nassar’s sentencing was a “victory” but that there was “work to be done.” Hopefully, putting new people on the boards and cleaning house will change the culture of women’s sports. It’s the least they can do after so long.