Women's sports should be just that; women working together, having fun, and enjoying themselves while participating in a game they love. For those of them that are lucky enough to make it big time and become a well-known athlete, all they should have to worry about is putting the time into practice and taking care of their bodies.
A woman's body isn't just an object. It is something personal, beautiful, and is not a toy.
Women give birth to precious babies for goodness sake.
A women's mental well-being is just as important as their physical well-being; while both can be overlooked in athletics.
Unfortunately, a man by the name of Larry Nassar decided he was superior to a woman's body and would take advantage of over 150 girls. Technically, Nassar is a "doctor", and I should be referring to him as "Doctor Nassar", but in my eyes, he is the farthest thing from a doctor so he will be referred to as, Larry. I do not want to make this about Larry because he does not deserve the attention. What does deserve the attention is the issue in women's sports that Larry shed light on.
This disgusting man worked with Team USA Gymnastics, and Michigan State University athletes. Any kind of sports team doctor should be focused on the athlete. It is all about the athlete and doing whatever in the doctor's power to make the patient healthy so they can perform to the best of their abilities and enjoy the sport that they love.
Larry failed to do any of this. In fact, he failed over 150 times when he sexually abused and forever changed the lives of a countless number of girls, possibly holding them back from accomplishments, confidence, and their mental well-being.
For the past few decades, Larry performed his "special treatment" on over 150 female athletes, all who spoke in front of a judge last week to ultimately decide his fate. A
s disgusting and horrendous of a crime he committed, he is thankfully being punished; but the real question here is why and how, did this happen?
How can one man have such a huge negative impact on so many young women for that long of a period of time without it surfacing to the news? This high profile case just began to disclose an ongoing problem that the average Joe has no idea about- accountability in women's sports.
If an MLB baseball player is traded from one team to another, there are multiple articles about it, notifications sent to cell phones, and it is talked about for weeks longer than it should. And when a famous college football player breaks his leg in a playoff game and is out for the rest of the season, fans all around the country cry and feel the pain as the media blows up the story. My point is, although women's sports have come a long way in the past century, they still have a LONG way to go.
Shame on Larry Nassar for his wrongdoings, but what is even worse here are the many people who swept this sexual abuse under the rug in exchange for whatever they deemed "worth" putting these athletes through, whether it be money, job security, or power. There is no possible way that these many girls were abused and nobody else knew about it.
Let's give females the same respect and attention that society gives to the male athletes.
Female athletes work just as hard as the men do, put in countless hours of work, and endure the pain and suffering they put their bodies through and to get compensated just a fraction of what male sports do, and in this case, be sexually abused for it to go unnoticed for way too long. This issue goes farther than just team doctors- coaches, assistants, trainers, and athletic director can all be guilty of this as well.
Larry Nassar may be rotting in prison for the next 175 years, as Judge Aquilina remarked, "I've just signed your death warrant," but this case and its topics are far from over. Unless we want history to repeat itself, this NEEDS to be a turning point in women's sports.
More than 150 brave ladies read their statements in front of a judge, Larry, and the national media last week. Famous gymnasts like Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber are now not just Olympic Gold Medalists, they will go down in history as famous women advocates. I would put them with names like Susan B Anthony, and Amelia Earhart. They have proven themselves that they are more than just gymnasts or strong females, they are standing up for what is right in women's athletics and ensuring no other aspiring little girls go through what they've faced in their careers.
I hope this case is not easily forgotten and sheds light to a problem deeper than any of us probably imagine- the number of unlawful acts that get swept under the rug and pushed aside in women's sports. Nassar v. Powerful Females needs to be the next Roe v. Wade, or Plessy v. Ferguson in textbooks, media, and general history.
As for Larry, I hope his cellmate and him become real comfortable, as that will be his home for the rest of his life. With charges for 175 years in prison for sexual abuse in addition to the 60 years that he was previously charged with for child pornography, he will not be practicing medicine anytime soon. Rot in prison, Larry Nassar. And for the rest of you committing wrong-doings in women's sports, this is just the beginning.