(Via The Daily Wire)
In November, Olympic women’s gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar confessed to molesting several teen gymnasts. One of his victims was gold medalist McKayla Maroney, who filed suit on Wednesday against the United States Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University for what she describes as a cover-up of sexual abuse.
In the suit, Maroney accuses the USOC and USA Gymnastics of fostering a “culture and atmosphere that conceals known and suspected sexual abusers.” Maroney says that USA Gymnastics officials “coerced” her into signing a confidentiality agreement, reportedly worth $1.25 million, that effectively silenced her. The Los Angeles Times reports:
Maroney said USA Gymnastics “coerced” her into signing the confidential settlement as she was still reeling from the sexual abuse and “in need of funds to pay for psychological treatment for her worsening psychological condition.” The lawsuit claims that the agreement included a “non-disparagement clause and confidentiality provision,” which could penalize her $100,000 if she spoke of the abuse or the settlement.
[Maroney’s attorney John Manly] contends that the settlement was illegal, as California law prohibits confidential civil agreements involving potential felony sex crimes.
Both the USOC and USA Gymnastics have pushed back on Maroney’s claims. The USOC denies any involvement with the settlement, while USA Gymnastics says that Maroney’s former representative, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, actually initiated the confidentiality agreement and insists that the organization worked through the process “in accordance with state law.”
“Contrary to reports, the concept of confidentiality was initiated by McKayla’s attorney, not USA Gymnastics,” said the organization in a statement. USA Gymnastics said that while they “applaud” Maroney for speaking out about Nassar’s abusive behavior, they are also “disappointed” in her legal action against them.
Also named in the suit is Michigan State University, Nassar’s former employer, which Maroney says allowed the doctor to continue to work with girls despite two complaints of sexual misconduct starting in the late 1990s.
Nassar pled guilty to the serial sexual abuse of several minors and possession of child pornography in November. Though Nassar was not specifically charged for abusing Maroney, she was the most high-profile of his accusers and read a statement before his sentencing. The gold medalist first spoke out about his abuse of her in October, in part inspired by the #MeToo movement.
“I was molested by Dr. Larry Nassar. It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was ‘treated,'” she wrote in a tweet on October 18. Maroney described the abuse as an “unnecessary and disgusting” price she paid in the pursuit of her Olympic goals. “Sure, from the outside looking in, it’s an amazing story. I did it. I got there, but not without a price,” she said.
NFL Ratings Continue To Fumble
The NFL – suffering from dismal ratings for last week’s opening game and Sunday Night Football, may be in for a serious decline in viewers this season if Dallas local TV ratings are any indicator – after the Cowboys registered their lowest local ratings since 2009.
the Dallas market is an important market for one of the most watched teams in the country. There is a reason the Cowboys are valued at over $4 billion dollars. They absolutely own Dallas Fort-Worth. Nothing else really matters.
The NFL does not want to see one of it’s most important market losing fans. It’s not a good look. It’s cause for concern. -Touchdownwire
That said, some have pointed out that the cowboys are “boring” now…
No one should be surprised. The Cowboys, while still a compelling aspect of the overall fabric of the NFL, have become a somewhat boring team, with a Salisbury-steak-and-lumpy-spuds offense that features two stars, a diminished offensive line, and a collection of No. 2 and No. 3 receivers. -Profootballtalk
Less viewers, more money
Despite a steady decline in viewership over the last three years, advertising revenues have continued to climb.
“Everyone loves to focus on the ratings, and everyone loves to focus on the NFL because it is the biggest ratings on television,” said Brian Rolapp, the league’s head of media. “But the reality is: Historically, the ratings of the NFL have always gone up, they’ve just never gone up in a straight line.”
NFL Fans Love the New Anthem Rule
NFL fans are in overwhelming support of the NFL’s new anthem policy, according to a Yahoo! Sports/YouGov poll.
According to Yahoo! Sports, “When asked if they support or oppose the new policy, which states teams will be fined if players “do not stand and show respect for the flag and the [national] anthem,” 53 percent of self-described NFL viewers said they support the policy, with 32 percent opposing and 15 percent saying neither or no opinion.”
In terms of the racial breakdown of the poll, whites and Hispanics strongly supported the new rule. While the measure was found to be considerably less popular among blacks:
White: 52% support; 32% oppose
Black: 29% support; 48% oppose
Hispanic: 49% support; 19% oppose
When asked whether the NFL should have an anthem policy regarding player conduct, the numbers showed sharp divisions as well.
Los Angeles Rams’ Add Male Cheerleaders
For the first time, an NFL team will have men as part of its official spirit squad.
Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies, named to the Los Angeles Rams squad this week, will be the first ones to perform the same routine as the female dancers. The Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts have men who perform stunts with female cheerleaders, but don’t dance.
Peron and Jinnies are both classically trained dancers and have been performing their entire lives.
But what made them take this groundbreaking step?
“I thought, ‘Why not me? Why can’t I do this?’ ” Peron said in an interview Wednesday on ABC-TV’s Good Morning America.
The men were among the 76 finalists chosen for the 40-person squad. Jinnies said the auditions were unlike any he’s ever been through before.
“This one was about three weeks long and we had a bunch of rehearsals in between and an extensive interview process, but it was really humbling and amazing to be invited every time you came back,” he said.