During the ESPYs Wednesday, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman took the stage next to 140 fellow survivors of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse to accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The group closed the night with a powerful show of solidarity—and a testament to just how widespread the disgraced doctor's abuses were.
Nassar was accused of sexually abusing at least 160 female athletes as a team doctor for USA Gymnastics for almost two decades, and during his time on staff at Michigan State University. He pleaded guilty to assaulting seven women and girls, and was sentenced to 175 years in prison in January, the culmination of a horrifying scandal that saw renowned gymnasts Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, and McKayla Maroney speak out about their abuse at Nassar's hands.
Raisman, an Olympic gold medalist and the second high-profile athlete to go public with allegations against Nassar, spoke on behalf of his victims Wednesday, alongside gymnast Sarah Klein and former MSU softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez.
"All those years we were told: 'You are wrong.' 'You misunderstood.' 'He’s a doctor.' 'It’s OK.' 'Don’t worry, we’ve got it covered.' 'Be careful, there are risks involved.' The intention? To silence us in favor of money, medals, and reputation," Raisman said. "To all the survivors out there, don’t let anyone rewrite your story. Your truth does matter, you matter, and you are not alone."
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