WASHINGTON, D.C. — The recent Senate testimony by four Olympic gymnasts was heart-wrenching—and it made us mad. We are mad that these brave women had to relive their trauma for a televised audience. We are mad that the institutions involved are not holding themselves accountable. And we are mad at the culture that brought them here.
As Simone Biles stated so plainly, we’re mad at “an entire system that enabled and perpetrated (Larry Nassar’s) abuse.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray apologized for the agency’s failures stating that their behaviors and lack of actions were “totally unacceptable.” Wray even mentioned that they had fired an agent involved in the case for his negligence after interviewing McKayla Maroney. After listening to her for three solid hours, Ms. Maroney said she was finally met with a long silence before the agent asked, “Is that all?”
Director Wray, we’re asking you now, “Is that all?” Is that all you’re going to do? An apology before a televised hearing isn’t enough, not by a long shot. The FBI, professional sports associations and clubs, Michigan State University and other institutions all played a role in enabling Nassar’s decades-long cycle of abuse, and every single one of these entities must institute serious, wide-ranging reforms.
The systemic abuse of student athletes won’t change until we hold the systems that perpetuate it accountable, and the culture of denial, negligence and betrayal of survivors changes for good. Enough is enough with empty apologies, we need action and accountability, NOW.