Earlier this week, Larry Nassar was sentenced for sexually molesting gymnasts whom he was entrusted to treat as patients under his care. All seven were minors. Nassar pled guilty to all seven counts.
During the trial, more than 150 women took the stand to testify against him. As Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced him up to 175 years, she concluded by saying, “I just signed your death warrant.” According to a video of the sentencing provided by The New York Times, the people attending the trial then began to clap.
But according to many of the young women who shared testimony during the trial, the problem is much larger than Nassar. Nassar’s accusers placed blame not only on him but also on USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee for failing to address the issue.
One of the more outspoken of the former Women’s gymnasts, Aly Raisman explained why both governing bodies of women’s gymnastics in the United States should be held accountable for the abuse that carried on for two decades.
“What does that say about USA Gymnastics, United States Olympic Committee?” she said, according to NBC News. “Whether they knew or didn’t know, that’s a big problem, and we need to investigate how this happened.”
On Friday, after an ultimatum issued by the U.S. Olympic Committee, the entire governing board of USA Gymnastics agreed to resign. The three top members already had; months before, President Steve Penny led the way by stepping down first. But the USOC wasn’t ultimately appeased by those resignations.
On Thursday, the USOC lined out in no unclear terms what was at stake for USA Gymnastics if they didn’t fully comply. Unless they did, USA Gymnastics would be decertified as the national governing board for the sport.
“While the USOC encourages USAG to think and act broadly on reforming its culture, we also believe that reform must start with an entirely new board,” wrote CEO Scott Blackmun.
But these weren’t the only demands laid out by the USOC. In addition to a new slate of board members, the committee demanded that all staff and board members complete SafeSport training within three months and comprehensive ethics training within six months, according to NBC News.
“Our position comes from a clear sense that USAG culture needs fundamental rebuilding,” wrote the USOC. “Every athlete connected in any way with USAG must feel safe, supported, and encouraged to speak freely about threats to their safety.”
In recent news, Pope Francis denounced ‘Fake News,’ by tying it to the first sin.