Thursday, January 25, 2018

Burn it all down

This article, by Charles P. Pierce, is intense and devastating. It's also in Sports Illustrated. That means it will reach more people who need to read it than it would have in something like Vanity Fair, Harper's, or Teen Vogue. Aly Raisman's statement alone should be read by every athletics fan in the country.

A couple of quotes from the article to whet your appetite:

"Burn it all down. That is the calm and reasoned conclusion to which I have come as one horror story after another unspooled in the courtroom. Nobody employed in the upper echelons at USA Gymnastics, or at the United States Olympic Committee, or at Michigan State University should still have a job."

"The courthouse is supposed to be the great leveler. It is supposed to be the place where all the monsters are called to final account as fairly as possible. It is supposed to be where flaming vengeance is cooled into steely justice. It is the secular equivalent of the passage from the Gospel of Luke in which Jesus tells the assembled that, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” God knows, it doesn’t always work out that way in our courthouses. The thumbs on the scales of justice weigh heaviest on the poor and the brown. But it is by god working out in the courtroom in Lansing, Michigan over which Judge Rosemarie Aquilina presides."
And "the school’s gymnastics coach tried to coerce her athletes into signing a card to support Nassar when the first charges began to come down. This is unfathomable to me. I believe it also would be unfathomable to Vlad the Impaler."

And then this: "Twenty-three years ago, a gifted journalist named Joan Ryan tried to warn us that gymnastics and figure skating – two sports that attained wild success through athletes who barely were old enough to go to high school – were warping young lives in dangerous ways, and that they were ideal hunting grounds for predators like Larry Nassar and pocket fascists like the Karolyis. That book, Little Girls In Pretty Boxes, was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 100 sports books of all time, and the revelations therein prompted USA gymnastics to put together a handbook for parents to alert them to the signs of eating disorders, abusive coaches, and other delights of the sporting life. By then, Larry Nassar was already climbing the ladder of that organization, so we can see how well that all worked out."

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At 7:06 AM, January 30, 2018 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

1. Did you see the video paean to the Karolyis that aired on NBC during the 2016 Rio Olympics? Although meant to be laudatory, it squicked me out even at the time (i.e., before I'd heard of Larry Nassar), and I suspect would be more painful to watch now.

2. Nassar's attorney(s) complained that so many women and girls were presenting victim-impact statements at his sentencing hearing that it constituted cruelty to Nassar. And we thought the fictional character who murdered his parents, threw himself on the mercy of the court because he was an orphan, had chutzpah.

3. Nassar's team is also trying to smear any of his victims they can with the claim that to even the least little extent they're seeking vengeance, as though that disqualified their testimony. Oh, the humanity!


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