Following a two-hour Senate hearing regarding the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal, two-time Olympic gymnast and three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman approached incoming United States Olympic Committee (USOC) CEO Sarah Hirshland. Hirshland proceeded to snub her before rushing out.
Here is what Raisman had to say about her encounter with Hirshland, who was announced as the replacement for former USOC CEO Scott Blackmun and is scheduled to take over as the USOC CEO on Monday, August 20 from interim USOC CEO Susanne Lyons, according to Sports Illustrated.
"I said, ‘Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me,' and she kind of ignored me, but I was like, 'excuse me'. So she looked at me because I wasn’t going to let her leave. I said, 'I’d really like to introduce myself to you.' She’s like, 'I’ve been instructed I can’t talk to you.' So I said, 'You can’t just say hi to me?' She said no and then rushed out."
Hirshland was announced as the replacement for Blackmun, who resigned in late February in the wake of the fallout from the Nassar scandal and cited ongoing health issues resulting from his prostate cancer as his reason for resigning, back on Thursday, August 12.
Pretty much ever since she revealed this past November that she was sexually assaulted by Nassar, Raisman has been on a verbal onslaught of the people and the institutions that protected, defended and enabled the 54-year-old disgraced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician.
Nassar is currently serving the 60-year federal prison sentence that he was issued in December on three child pornography charges, and he is doing so at United States Penitentiary, Tucson in Tucson, Arizona.
Earlier this week, Nassar was released to the general population of United States Penitentiary, Tucson for the first time since he arrived there more than five months ago. Within hours of his release to the general population of the prison, he was physically assaulted.
Should Nassar survive his 60-year federal prison sentence, he would begin serving the first of two state prison sentences that he was issued earlier this year. In January, he was issued a state prison sentence for between 40 and 175 years on seven sexual assault charges, and in February, he was issued another state prison sentence for between an additional 40 and 125 years on three more sexual assault charges.
During Nassar's January sentencing hearing, a total of 169 people delivered victim impact statements in front of him, with 156 of those people being people who have accused him of sexual assault.
Raisman was one of the people who delivered a statement. While she had not initially planned on doing so, she delivered a scathing statement that got national attention almost immediately. Ever since, she has been one of the leaders if not the leader of holding the people and the institutions that protected, defended and enabled Nassar accountable.
Among those people and institutions that protected, defended and enabled Nassar are USA Gymnastics and Michigan State as well as the USOC themselves, so the fact that the incoming USOC CEO completely snubbed her has absolutely no chance of sitting well with the 24-year-old Needham, Massachusetts native.
"It’s frightening. But it’s honestly, sadly, not shocking. Nothing really shocks me anymore. Look at the world right now. There aren’t enough leaders in the world right now.”
“How can you believe that they really care when the new CEO won’t even say hi?”
Fortunately, Hirshland did apologize for snubbing Raisman, but the damage may have already been done. She did not do so until word of Raisman's criticism of her got out, and as stated above, Raisman has been an outspoken critic, arguably the most outspoken critic, of the people and the institutions that protected, defended and enabled Nassar. This criticism has including ripping "insincere apologies" issued by people from these organizations.
In fact, following her interview on the hourlong Dateline NBC special called "Silent No More" back in April, Raisman revealed that NBC omitted a key piece of her interview from the televised version of it.
Instead of doing nothing about it, Raisman took matters into her own hands and publicized what NBC omitted herself. This was probably an even more effective way to get her message across than having this information shared together with many more details in the televised portion of her interview. Plus, this method slammed NBC for omitted this information in the process.
The bottom line is that Raisman is the wrong person to mess with, especially if you are the incoming USOC CEO. Why anyone would even consider trying to test that at this point, I have no idea.