December 16, 2017

Why don't we care about the biggest sex abuse scandal in sports history?: “The case of Larry Nassar, certainly the largest [sports sexual abuse] scandal in scale, has generated a fraction of the mainstream media coverage that was devoted to the Sandusky and Baylor stories. Why that is is worthy of inspection.”

posted by rumple to culture at 03:19 PM - 7 comments

Thanks for posting. I must admit I first came across this in the last two weeks and was shocked. If this was in some higher profile sport (at least more than two weeks every four years) it would be saturation coverage. While I'm no supporter of outrageously long prison sentences when there is an opportunity for rehabilitation, seems like he deserves the sentence he's already gotten and that he's still yet to get. And seems like a reckoning is in order for the institutions that either enabled this or turned a blind eye to it.

posted by holden at 10:42 PM on December 17, 2017

I'd be very surprised if there isn't a similar story out there in the Canadian hockey world. The conviction of Graham James is probably the first one I've heard of in that sport (being older kids), but predators would find kids hockey (boys and girls) to be a prime target.

posted by grum@work at 10:01 AM on December 18, 2017

I saw more media coverage when the scandal first hit months ago, now its just that he was sentenced in this more, er, aware media environment.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:56 AM on December 18, 2017

I think Deadspin's been doing a pretty good job keeping up with this story. But you're absolutely correct rumple--the coverage is nothing compared to the coverage of the Penn State scandal. Is it because of the relative obscurity of women's gymnastics? Is it because it was pubescent girls instead of young boys?

Whatever the reason, predators like Nassar deserve every bit of punishment they receive. As a parent, I shudder to think about the feelings that would arise upon discovering that someone who I trusted, and someone who I had led my child to trust, was taking advantage of that trust in such a despicable way.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:18 PM on December 18, 2017

I guess it has something to do with the cultural invisibility of the Olympic sports when they aren't happening. But it is shocking to see so little attention paid to such a heinous crime to high-profile athletes who were extremely vulnerable because they were minors.

posted by rcade at 07:40 PM on December 19, 2017

Now McKayla Maroney is claiming in a lawsuit that the US Gymnastics tried to silence her through a paid non-disclosure agreement just a year ago.

Generally, yes tahoe, I sense that grown men abusing boys is somehow considered more of a problem than grown men abusing girls. Also, woman's gymnastics has tended to accentuate a weird kind of sexual vibe with pre-pubescent and pubescent girls, especially tiny, limber ones. They create a sort of weird liminal young woman with attributes of highly skilled attributes and of naive children at the same time.

posted by rumple at 03:45 PM on December 20, 2017

rumple: Rule 34

posted by billsaysthis at 12:18 PM on December 21, 2017

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