Repulsive reaction to Biles’ allegations

Published 8:22 pm Saturday, January 20, 2018

If anyone is still wondering why women, especially young women, women of color, and well-known women, are reluctant to come forward after rape and sexual assault, look no further than the shameful reaction by social media cretins to the news this week that Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles revealed that she, like more than 100 other athletes, had been abused by USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

In perhaps the worst sex abuse scandal ever in any sport, Nassar reportedly molested more than 150 girls and young women. Many were elite gymnasts, whom he “treated” in his capacity as a doctor for USA Gymnastics. Some were gymnasts, softball players and other female athletes at Michigan State University, where he was a sports medicine physician. One was a family friend whom he abused starting when she was only 6 years old.

The sentencing hearing has been going on all this week, and many of the victims are testifying. Articles about the abuse generations of brave women faced — Nassar started working with USA Gymnastics in the ‘80s — have been hard to escape.

Email newsletter signup

But when Biles revealed this week that she was among the victims, the reaction was sickening. A few clicks on Facebook could reveal it in all its shameful glory.

Some comments said that Biles wanted money or attention, and that is the only reason she was reporting she was abused by Nassar.

Just as disgusting, and even more inane and nonsensical, were those questioning how Biles was still able to achieve incredible goals, such as winning multiple Olympic golds, if she had been abused. Because, apparently, aren’t women who have been molested, assaulted or raped supposed to be weaklings who never again accomplish anything meaningful?

One wonders if those same men said the same thing after hearing the news about any of Nassar’s white victims, such as Biles’ fellow Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman or McKayla Maroney.

Unfortunately for Nassar, however, all of these young women not only have gone on to accomplish many incredible things since he abused them; they’re also speaking out. So many of them are speaking out, in fact, that Nassar crumbled under the pressure this week, complaining to the judge at his sentencing hearing that it was too hard emotionally to listen to his victims speak the truth about what he did to them.

What a weak, revolting man.

Thanks to these incredibly strong women, Nassar will never again be able to abuse a girl or young woman. Hopefully, the national reckoning on sexual assault soon comes home to roost for the individuals and institutions who knew about Nassar’s behavior and did nothing about it.