USA Gymnastics CEO Resigns Over Larry Nassar Abuse Scandal
Repercussions of the Larry Nassar scandal are still being felt. On Tuesday, the president and CEO of USA Gymnastics Kerry Perry resigned from her job. Following the controversy, USA Gymnastics announced the resignation of Perry, who had hired a coach who had supported the team physician Larry Nassar, convicted of serial sexual abuse. The coach and Perry sparked buzz with their mutual support for the doctor-turned-serial sex-abuser for a key position with the organization.
“On behalf of the Board of USA Gymnastics, I want to thank Kerry for her leadership under very difficult circumstances,” Karen Golz, chair of the USA Gymnastics board of directors, said in a statement on Tuesday morning.
Kerry Perry has resigned as President and CEO of USA Gymnastics, effective immediately.
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) September 4, 2018
Perry was CEO for just nine months. She couldn’t handle the Nassar case properly and her carefree comments brought her with criticism from victims abused by the former physician. There was lack of transparency about how the organization planned to protect athletes.
“In the wake of horrific events that have impacted our athletes and the entire gymnastics community, USA Gymnastics has made progress in stabilizing itself and setting a new path to ensure that the safety and interest of our athletes remain at the heart of our mission,” said another statement from the group’s board of directors released on Tuesday.
“USA Gymnastics has appointed someone who, in my view, supported Nassar, victim-shamed survivors, & has shown no willingness to learn from the past,” Aly Raisman tweeted last week, referring to Mary Lee Tracy’s resignation as USA Gymnastics’ women’s elite development coordinator. Tracy is a longtime gymnastics coach who had voiced support for Nassar after he was arrested in 2016 on sex-abuse charges.
As a representative of the organization, she inappropriately contacted a survivor, who is also a represented plaintiff, in response to that survivor’s public criticism of her. USA Gymnastics decided it would be best to move forward without Ms. Tracy in this role.
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) August 31, 2018
USA Gymnastics has appointed someone who, in my view, supported Nassar, victim-shamed survivors, & has shown no willingness to learn from the past. This is a slap in the face for survivors, & further confirmation that nothing at @USAG has changed. What a profound disappointment! https://t.co/lklLiqsOCJ
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) August 29, 2018
Many high-profile gymnasts from the industry were on the list of female athletes to accuse the doctor of sexual misconduct.
Nassar, a sports physician at Michigan State University, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting numerous athletes during his tenure. Olympic champion gymnast, Gabby Douglas, had accused the former USA Gymnastics team physician of alleged sexual abuse. Two-time Olympic teammate Aly Raisman in her autobiography “Fierce,” released last year wrote about alleged abuse by Nassar. Also, Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney disclosed abuse by Nassar in the same year. Jamie Dantzscher, a bronze medallist on the 2000 US Olympic team, then joined the group to file lawsuits against Nassar in 2016 following reports by the Indianapolis Star. The report highlighted chronic mishandling of abuse allegations against coaches and staff at more than 3,500 clubs across the country.
Nassar is currently serving a 60-year federal sentence for possession child pornography. He has been jailed for up to 175 years for molesting young athletes – which he will serve if he survives the federal sentence.
Feature Image Credit: People Magazine