Larry Nassar, the former physician for Michigan State University (MSU) and the USA Gymnastics team, sexually abused countless students and athletes for decades.
How, exactly, was Nassar able to abuse so many for so long, and avoid justice for decades?
We discuss some of the systemic factors that allowed this to happen.
Nassar’s reputation preceded him. He had years of experience working with Olympic teams. Parents wanted their children to be seen by him. It meant their children were on the road to greatness if they had someone of Nassar’s caliber working with them.
So, when sexual abuse allegations were first brought forth against Nassar, no one believed them. Or rather, they chose not to believe them.
Many of the survivors of Nassar’s abuse were world-class athletes who had worked their entire lives for a shot at the USA Gymnastics team. As such, many survivors felt like reporting the abuse would not be worth a possible dismissal from their dream team for rocking the boat.
Jennifer Sey, a seven-time national gymnastics team member, stated, “There was always concern that if you rocked the boat you would be ostracized, you wouldn’t be chosen for the team, you would be blackballed in the sport.”
Investigations into Nassar’s trial revealed a systemic pattern in USA Gymnastics of downplaying complaints about sexual abuse. Above all else, the team feared losing sponsors and jeopardizing their ability to attain more Olympic medals. So, the organization put its interests ahead of the safety of its own athletes.
Sexual abuse is a heinous crime for which perpetrators must be identified and punished. At Grewal Law PLLC, we make it our mission to do what these institutions will not—protect survivors.
We represented one-third of the first wave of plaintiffs in the Larry Nassar case and achieved a $500 million settlement for them. Now, we’re pursuing similar claims for those who survived sexual abuse at the hands of another Michigan university physician—Robert E. Anderson at the University of Michigan.
If you or someone you love has experienced sexual abuse at the hands of Anderson, or anyone else, we encourage you to contact us today at (888) 211-5798 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.