When power is confronted with its own maleficence by society at large, it will inevitably leverage its advantage to prevent retribution for abusive action. This phenomenon happens in all institutions in which money, fame or influence reacts to defend itself. Oftentimes, that power is leveraged in the form of financial pressure.
McKayla Maroney was one of Americas darlings as a Gold Medal winner during the 2012 London Summer Olympics. She was also the recipient of a large payoff extending from a settlement issued by USA Gymnastics to prevent the public from being made aware of the abuse she suffered at the hands of convicted child pornographer and former team doctor Lawrence G. Nassar.
This news came out in a lawsuit filed Wednesday by Maroney against the United States Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State, where Nassar was employed, according to The Wall Street Journal. In the lawsuit, Maroney claims she was forced to sign a non-disparagement clause and confidentiality provision that has a $100,000 penalty if violated.
U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney filed a lawsuit saying @USAGym tried to silence her while allegations mounted against team doctor Larry Nassar. She is one of many former gymnasts that have accused this doctor of sexual abuse. https://t.co/XbqbNJQOmZ
USA Gymnastics said: Contrary to reports, the concept of confidentiality was initiated by McKaylas attorney, not USA Gymnastics. USA Gymnastics cannot speak to the mediation process, which is confidential and privileged under California law. The process culminated in a settlement agreement that included a mutual nondisclosure clause and a mutual nondisparagement clause.
But Maroneys attorney John Manly begs to differ. He called the confidentiality agreement an immoral and illegal attempt to silence a victim of child sexual abuse in exchange for a financial settlement.
McKayla was and is in rough shape, he said. She needs help, therapy, she cant work, for periods she couldnt even get out of bed. She was desperate for the financial support and needed to move on.
The Olympic Committee, which reiterated that it was not a part of the settlement, said, We are heartbroken that this abuse occurred, proud of the brave victims that have come forward and grateful that our criminal justice system has ensured that Nassar will never be able to harm another young woman.
Maroney is one of dozens of former gymnasts who have accused Nassar of molesting them under the guise of medical treatment. In November, the former team physician pleaded guilty to molestation charges and has already been sentenced to 60 years for child pornography. He will be sentenced in January on molestation charges.
Among those who have come forward have been gold medalists Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman. From a birds eye view, we have three massive institutions that are scrambling to distance themselves from a pervert that used them as cover to shield himself from scrutiny and law enforcement to hide his dirty deeds.
These children and young ladies, who have achieved so much and won the adoration of millions, were likely hesitant to come forward, like hundreds of thousands of other victims of sex abuse, sexual assault, molestation and sexual harassment. Imagine what it’s like for your average American girl struggling with the knowledge that she was used for the gratification of a powerful pervert in a victim-blaming, misogynist society that more than likely will blame her for his actions?
Yeah, tell me more about how much they deserved it or shouldnt have placed themselves in that position. Yeah, tell me more about that, but just dont do it face-to-face. You might get thumped in your optics.