100s of USA swimmers were sexually abused for decades and the people in charge knew and ignored it, investigation finds

For decades the sexual abuse of young athletes by their coaches lingered just beneath the surface in American swimming’s otherwise golden waters.

In 2005, USA Swimming president Ron Van Pool decided it was time to bring the issue to the surface.

Giving his annual State of Swimming address, Van Pool pushed for a more aggressive approach within the sport to taking on sexual abuse.

“USA Swimming is frightfully behind the curve in this process and there are those who would have us continue to lag,” Van Pool said.

The speech, however, didn’t make much of an impression with Chuck Wielgus, then in his eighth year as USA Swimming’s executive director.

“There was nothing that struck me,” Wielgus said later in deposition.

What the parents of Larry Nassar's victims want you to understand

Here’s a sample of the kind of comments parents of Larry Nassar’s victims see online these days. Or, for that matter, just overhear at work and the grocery store:

 

Morgan McCaul and her mother, Deb. "It was unimaginable and hard for me to understand when I first heard it," Deb McCaul says. "Like, how could you have that happen and not know? Until I found out that that happened, and I didn’t know.”

CREDIT COURTESY OF DEB MCCAUL 

“Why don’t the parents of the Nassar victims take any responsibility?”

“I wonder how many of those girls complained to their parents, and their parents turned a deaf ear about it.”

“The parents are equally to blame. Should be sharing a cell with Nassar.”

Deb McCaul says on some level, she gets it.

“It was unimaginable and hard for me to understand when I first heard it,” McCaul says. “Like, how could you have that happen and not know? Until I found out that that happened, and I didn’t know.”

‘My insides are shattered’: Former Olympian Ariana Kukors tells of alleged abuse

NEW YORK — Ariana Kukors was 15 when she first realized her 33-year-old swim coach was interested in more than helping her swim faster, she said, when innocuous text messages about school and weekend plans shifted suddenly with a strange question: He wanted to know if she was wearing underwear.

She was 16 the first time he asked her to text a naked photo, she said, a request she claims she routinely fulfilled. Later that year, in hotel rooms at travel meets and after private workouts before school, her coach started making physical advances that, before Kukors turned 18, included sex acts she summarized as “everything but intercourse.”

Larry Nassar duped me. He would have duped you too. Here's how to stop the next abuser from taking his place

I first met Larry Nassar in the late '90s, when I was a student athletic training intern at the University of Washington. With a gymnastics meet in full swing on either side of us, Nassar let me help treat the athletes. He was kind and thoughtful, and explained to me every single thing he was doing as he worked. Even the coaches, ex-gymnasts themselves, would hobble their aching bodies toward Nassar in hope of relief. He was odd and a little dorky, but it was kind of refreshing compared to the ego-driven coaches and doctors I was used to dealing with.

I've spent most of my life in the world of gymnastics; I've competed, I've coached and I've been a fan since my dad took me to see the 1980 Olympic Team tour. The vast majority of my experiences with the sport have been positive. But I'm not naïve, nor was I then, about how cruel that world can be. Nassar seemed like one of the good ones. And everyone I asked said that he was.

Lawyer for Olympic Gymnasts: NDAs Allow Sexual Abuse to Fester

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has done more than reveal the culture of sexual abusethat has infected the entertainment industry for generations. It has placed a spotlight on perpetrators and those who protect them using the despicable practice of non-disclosure agreements to intimidate and silence victims.

Throughout the past 25 years I have represented thousands of sexual assault victims in civil lawsuits against their molesters and the institutions that facilitated their abuse. Most of these victims were children at the time they were abused. One thing is common through all these cases, the perpetrators and their accomplices dwarf their victims in wealth and power. Indeed, sexual assault is not about sex, it’s about power.

Me too by Breanna Stewart

BREANNA STEWART

FORWARD / SEATTLE STORM

I remember what he smelled like.

Cigarettes and dirt. Kind of metallic, too.

He was a construction worker and he smoked. You can’t really wash those smells off.

My family was close. I used to sleep over at relatives’ houses all the time. He lived in one of the houses I slept at the most. There was a big couch in the living room and a smaller loveseat under a window that looked out on the front lawn. I’d stay up late, watching TV on the couch after everyone went to sleep. That’s also where I slept — there wasn’t a guest bed or bedroom. I was a shy nine-year-old, with a long, lanky body and a head that felt too big. I didn’t fit on the loveseat.

I’d flip through the channels, wide-awake, under a big blanket.

I wasn’t always alone. Sometimes there’d be someone else asleep on the loveseat. But I was always the only one awake when it happened.

I’d hear his footsteps coming down the stairs.

Nancy Hogshead-Makar: #MeToo shows need for tighter rules in club and Olympic sports

Last week, McKayla Maroney tweeted a message with the hashtag #MeToo, alleging she was sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. With her disclosure, she not only identified herself as one of the more than 140 women who have said they've been abused by Nassar, who has plead guilty to child pornography charges, but she also re-emphasized that the ubiquitous nature of abuse reaches even the highest levels.

Numerous athletes from all types of sports and women working in athletics have joined the #MeToo movement, including another Olympic gold medalist, gymnast Tatiana Gutsu.

Sexual harassment and abuse in sports aren't novel or surprising to most of us inside athletics. But the #MeToo movement, reignited after accusations of sexual harassment against longtime Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, has once again brought to light the constant objectification of women in sports.

Victim says Graham Taylor ignored warning of sex abuse at Aston Villa

Former England boss Graham Taylor was warned about possible sexual abuse of young players during his time as Aston Villa manager but suggested it should be swept "underneath the carpet," a victim has said.

It was claimed in January that Villa sacked scout Ted Langford after learning of the sexual abuse allegations in 1988 but did not alert police.

A hockey pro dies, and coach he said raped him is free

His father was far away on that chilly April afternoon, so 3-year-old Cullen Gove reached out to him in a video message, texted by the boy’s mother from a Central Massachusetts playground.

“I love you, Daddy,’’ Cullen said. “I miss you. I want you to feel better so you can come home.’’

But by then, his father, David Gove, a former Thayer Academy hockey prodigy who grew up skating on Cape Cod ponds, won a Stanley Cup ring, and until last year was a promising professional head coach, was beyond reach.

From winning coach to disgraced child abuser: the downfall of Bart McInerney

On July 10, Bart McInerney, once an esteemed baseball coach at St. Rose High School in Belmar, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of endangering the welfare of a child for sexting with many of his players. The case, pending since 2007, took a number of twists and turns over the years as McInerney was initially convicted by a jury, had his conviction overturned, was released from prison and was sued in connection with the death of one of his alleged victims.

Now sentenced for those crimes, McInerney, 51, is not going to serve any more time in prison beyond the two years he spent behind bars and he will not have to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law. Monmouth County prosecutors said they reached this deal with the approval of the victims, who want to move on with their lives.

Aly Raisman: USA Gymnastics needs sweeping change after scandal

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Aly Raisman is ready to talk about "the elephant in the room." And the six-time Olympic medal-winning gymnast thinks it's time USA Gymnastics joins in a conversation she feels is long overdue.

The 23-year-old is calling for sweeping change in the organization in the wake of dozens of allegations of sexual abuse by former national team doctor Larry Nassar, a scandal that has left one of the U.S. Olympic movement's marquee programs scrambling and Raisman shaken.

Off balance: USA Gymnastics needs a cultural change

On Aug. 9, 2016, the U.S. women's gymnastics team won gold at the Rio Olympics, its second straight team gold. Since late 2010, U.S. women's gymnastics has not lost an Olympic or world team competition, becoming the most dominant gymnastics program in the world. 

One year later, just ahead of the national P&G Gymnastics Championships in Anaheim, California, USA Gymnastics is mired in scandal. A former team doctor, Larry Nassar, pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges, and he has been accused by 119 former patients-- the majority college-aged women -- of assault during treatment sessions. Some of these sessions took place at Michigan State University, where Nassar had an office. Others took place at USA Gymnastics-sanctioned events, and some women alleged they were assaulted at Karolyi Ranch in Texas, owned by national team coordinator Martha and husband Bela and used for training camps throughout the year. More than 80 women have pressed criminal charges against Nassar.

New Premier League season begins … but child abuse scandal hangs heavy over football

The new Premier League football season kicks off this week, with record sums of money spent by top flight teams on new talent. 

The start of this coming season marks the 25th anniversary of the Premier League, and in a campaign first, it will get underway with a Friday night game – with Arsenal hosting Leicester at the Emirates.

This season will also see players competing for places in the 2018 World Cup squad, which will take place in Russia next summer. All in all, it’s set to be an exciting season, with Newcastle UnitedBrighton & Hove Albionand Huddersfield Town hoping to make their mark in the league after promotion.

But despite all the new season anticipation, football continues to be plagued by allegations of historical child abuse. This comes after a number of former players waived their rights to anonymity and talked publicly at the end of last year about childhood sexual abuse by former coaches in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

VOLUNTEER LITTLE LEAGUE® COACH. PROFESSIONAL CHILD PREDATOR.

Ken Stockton vividly remembers being drafted to his Little League® team in 1960.

“It was the team you wanted to be on,” said Mr. Stockton. “When I was growing up, baseball was the primary sport. Everyone aspired to play in the big leagues, including me. My coach was good, he was young, he had the skills, and had a capability to develop players. I was excited when I was picked for his team. He was also a pretty proficient pedophile.”

Mr. Stockton’s coach, like so many child predators, was respected in the community and by parents. He was the last person anyone expected to be a pedophile.