Center for Sports Communication & Media
Broken Trust: Elite Athletics in the #MeToo Era
2:00 to 3:30 pm, February 28, in BMC 5.208 and live streamedMONSTER. PREDATOR. RAPIST These are a few of the words used to describe Dr. Larry Nassar, the now-imprisoned former team doctor for USA Gymnastics who systematically sexually abused more than 200 women athletes, beginning in 1992. But Larry Nassar is just the tip of the iceberg.
Each year, women and men are sexually and emotionally abused by their coaches and those in positions of authority in their chosen sports. Much of this abuse does not get reported because sports governing bodies refuse to believe athletes, fear bad publicity or are simply unwilling to take measures to investigate. Even with athletes coming forward to share their horrific stories, there is still much work to be done to break and prevent the cycle of abuse to make sports safe for women athletes.
This CSCM panel discussion features the voices of three former elite international athletes who have all weighed in against (male) coaches' abuses of power and an institutional malaise among governing bodies in many sports that failed to take action concerns of (female) athletes. Eva Rodansky, a former speedskater, Jessica Armstrong, a former gymnast and Katherine Starr, a former swimmer, number among the multitude of former elite athletes who have called for reform and rethinking in the athlete/coach relationship and the organizational structures ostensibly designed to support world'class performance.
Also on this panel are three CSCM affiliates who have exceptional insights into the cultural dynamics that help us contextualize the presence of #MeToo in sports. CSCM Fellows Jill Yesko, a filmaker. and Jessica Luther, a writer, have been on this beat for years. School of Journalism faculty member Dr. Mary Bock, who is also an affiliate of UT's Center for Women and Gender Studies, studies the rhetorical relationship between words and images, and digital media.
This event is co-sponsored by UT's Center for Women and Gender Studies. Please join us in BMC 5.208 on February 28 from 2-3:30 for this important discussion. The panel will also be live streamed on CSCM's YouTube page.