Sports | October 20, 2017 12:26 pm

#MeToo Movement Spills Into the Sports World

Spark caused by former gold-medal Olympian McKayla Maroney who alleged abuse on Twitter.

Creep of the Century dishonors go to Harvey Weinstein.

Since the news broke about Weinstein’s penchant for allegedly serially sexually abusing women within his influence circle, there have been a staggering 59 stories (and sadly, counting) of abuse—which have been shared by a number of high-profile women. Myriad others were shared this past week with the #MeToo hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

One heartbreaking story was tweeted out by former Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, who won multiple gold medals at the 2012 London games. She spoke of being repeatedly molested by U.S. Women’s National Gymnastics and Olympic Team doctor Larry Nassar. (He currently has 140 known alleged victims, and is in jail on child pornography charges.) “People should know that this is not just happening in Hollywood,” Maroney wrote in the statement. “This is happening everywhere.”

As The New York Times‘ Juliet Macur writes, “I have my own ‘Me Too’ stories. Many women do. And to be crystal clear, my experiences were very different from what Maroney and the other gymnasts have described, which includes accusations of serious crimes: a doctor molesting dozens of minors during his long career. But distinguishing levels of harassment, or abuse, or rape is not the point of any of this. The point is to stop this—all of this.” She continues: “If you’re taken aback by this wave of raw honesty, and surprised by the sheer numbers of ‘Me Too’ posts out there, then you’re probably not a woman. To so many of us, too many of us, none of this is new.”

Macur ends the column by recounting three separate occasions of abuse she’s endured as a journalist. “Without the boldness of so many other women, as so many of them join hands to pull back the curtain on this problem, I still might have preferred to say nothing,” she writes. “That silence is exactly what abusers are counting on. They can’t count on it anymore.”