Shawn Johnson spoke out about the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal in a video posted to her YouTube channel on Monday, January 22.
In the post titled “I am disgusted,” the former Olympic gymnast detailed her feelings toward USA Gymnastics and the disgraced doctor who used his power to take advantage of young girls.
As of Monday, more than 130 women — including USA gold medalists McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman and Simone Biles — have come forward to accuse Nassar of sexual misconduct. Over the past week, many of them spoke at his sentencing in Lansing, Michigan.
“Today I want to address everything surrounding USA Gymnastics and Larry Nassar,” Johnson began the video.
“I know this goes outside the sport of gymnastics into every person and family involved. Some of which are my very close friends and girls I look up to,” she said. “Know I am praying for you and that I love you. You have experienced some of the worst evil in the world. To know you guys have a voice and you’re standing up for so many people — just know you are my heros.”
She continued: “Knowing that USA Gymnastics has failed their athletes so terribly disappoints me and makes me so incredibly angry. The fact that any of this has ever happened shows that USA Gymnastics has failed as a governing body to protect the athletes that it supports and claims to care about.”
With tears in her eyes, the 26-year-old explained that it’s going to take a long time to make little girls feel comfortable again due to the unfortunate abuse these athletes have endured — and noted that is she had a daughter right now, she wouldn’t put her in the sport.
“I think USA Gymnastics for a very, very, very long time has only focused on nothing but winning gold medals,” she added. “They have overlooked the simple and most important fact that the people they are dealing with are minors and are children and do not have the capabilities to stand up for themselves or speak for themselves.”
She concluded the video with a call to action for anyone whose trust has been violated. “We need to make sure this never happens again.”
As previously reported, in November, the former USA Gymnastics doctor pleaded guilty to molesting seven girls. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison in December in a federal child pornography case.
Raisman and Wieber are two of the more than 100 women to speak out during the 54-year-old’s criminal sex abuse case sentence hearing, which is now into its second week. He is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Us Weekly has reached out to USA Gymnastics for comment.
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