I love gymnastics. The sport is so good, and provides so many lessons for life. However, the entity under which most gyms and gymnasts in this country compete does not deserve our support. If you are a gym owner or a coach still currently under the auspices of USA Gymnastics, I invite you to ask yourself these questions.
- How can I knowingly support an entity that created and endorsed such a harmful and damaging culture for children, both physically and mentally?
- How can I support a program that places winning over the wellbeing of our gymnasts?
- How can we pay money and support an entity with members and leaders that knowingly covered up such a large and egregious scandal against innocent children? The very children who we say we want to teach, guide, and protect?
- How can we knowingly use this entity as a guideline for us to teach children in any capacity?
- How can we trust this entity’s judgment and give credence to its authority?
- How can we trust that this entity will all of a sudden begin protecting children over an effort to make itself look good?
- How can we leave our daughters and sons under the auspices, direction, and care of such an entity?
- What if one of my gymnasts were one of the survivors? Would I be able to support this program?
- What if my daughter or son were one of the survivors? Would I be able to support this program?
- If one of my gymnasts is a survivor, how can I, with a clear conscience, continue to support such a program?
- How can we trust that our money is going to something other than a legal defense fund?
- How does this entity have the temerity to survive, and why do I continue to support something that is inherently harmful?
- What has USAG done to deserve my support? Does this outweigh the harm it has caused?
- What are my options?
USA Gymnastics is not the only program that oversees competitive gymnastics in this country. There is a choice. USAIGC gives clubs a choice to not be a part of the corrupt atmosphere of USAG. I urge all club owners and coaches to read the USAIGC website and decide for yourselves. I am here to tell you that what you see is what you get with USAIGC. They put gymnasts first; they don’t just talk about doing so. They mandate 100% background checks for ALL adult club employees and volunteers. They have a highly competitive program, and they truly have the gymnasts’ wellbeing at heart.
It is our right to have a choice and a voice. It’s time that all club owners and coaches exercised theirs and stopped pretending that their still being a part of USAG doesn’t affect their gym or doesn’t lend support to the harmful and corrupt culture that bred such atrocities to occur.