Former gymnast and three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman is speaking out about USA Gymnastics’ proposed settlement to the survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse, and she’s not just unhappy about it — she’s angry. In an interview with NBC’s “TODAY” on Monday, Raisman slammed the proposal and accused USA Gymnastics of covering up who knew about the abuse and when they knew.
Raisman offended by USA Gymnastics settlement offer
The settlement has two main prongs. The first is financial: $215 million would be divided among Nassar’s 150-plus victims in a four-tiered system based on how far they progressed in their gymnastics career and where the abuse happened. The second is legal: the settlement would release former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny, former coaches Martha and Béla Károlyi, and other officials and gymnastics leaders from any liability. They would not be able to be sued or prosecuted for ignoring or enabling Nassar’s decades-long abuse, which as a doctor he was able to disguise as “medical treatment.”
Raisman, who was sexually abused by Nassar, didn’t mince words when discussing the settlement.
“It’s honestly, it’s offensive. … They’re just trying to push it under the rug and hoping people will forget about it when they watch the Olympics this summer,” @aly_raisman says to @stephgosk about gymnastics’ officials handling of sexual abuse scandal pic.twitter.com/nP61Ak9k38— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 2, 2020
"It's honestly offensive," Raisman said. "It shows they don't care. They're just trying to push it under the rug and hoping people will forget about it when they watch the Olympics this summer."
Raisman accuses USA Gymnastics of “cover-up”
Another detail of the settlement that angers Raisman is the lack of disclosure. According to the Washington Post, there is no provision in the settlement that would require USA Gymnastics to disclose who knew about Nassar’s abuse and when they knew it.
“I personally would like to see USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee release all their documents and data because they are not doing that. They’re not answering our questions.” -@aly_raisman pic.twitter.com/gwJkxDuJ1R— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 2, 2020
Raisman accused USA Gymnastics of a cover-up, but says she isn’t able to elaborate on what they are covering up because they’ve refused to release any documents or emails related to Nassar.
"The problem is I don't know exactly. I don't know all the answers. And in order to make real change, we need to understand exactly what went wrong.
"I personally would like to see USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee release all their documents and data because they are not doing that. They're not answering our questions."
Via NBC News, USA Gymnastics responded to Raisman’s comments on “TODAY.”
USA Gymnastics responded to Raisman's comments in a statement to NBC News saying that it has fully cooperated with all investigative bodies and must "respect the confidentiality and integrity" of the process.
The organization said it has "deep respect and empathy for the victims" and that it is committed to achieving "justice for the survivors in an expedited manner." USA Gymnastics added that it has instituted reforms that include updated bylaws focused on safety and clearer policies about reporting abuse.
Simone Biles also insulted by settlement offer
After the settlement offer was made public, Raisman’s former teammate Simone Biles, who was also abused by Nassar, shared her feelings on Twitter.
Ugh at the airport. Heading to team camp. Still want answers from USAG and USOPC. Wish they BOTH wanted an independent investigation as much as the survivors & I do. Anxiety high. Hard not to think about everything that I DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT!!!— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) February 29, 2020
And don’t THEY also want to know HOW everything was allowed to happen and WHO let it happen so it NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN? Shouldn’t people be held accountable? Who do I ask??? I’m torn at this point....— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) February 29, 2020
Biles was joined by Rachel Denhollander, who was the first woman to go public about being abused by Nassar.
I'm with you Simone. Your character and courage is far above the leadership of either organization.— Rachael Denhollander (@R_Denhollander) February 29, 2020
Sponsors of these organizations need to know that the worst thing they can do for survivors, athletes and the next generation, is to keep these broken organizations alive.
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