Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Aly Raisman: Lawsuit

Aly Raisman Sues United States Olympic Committee and U.S Gymnastics (March 2, 2018, Santa Clara County, California)

             Controversy: U.S Olympian, Aly Raisman, has pressed charges against the United States Olympic Committee and U.S Gymnastics. Larry Nassar, the former national team doctor, is now serving time in prison for sexually abusing young athletes. Raisman is enraged at these two organizations, for she believes they “knew” and or “should have known” about this unacceptable behavior (1). 
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Aly Raisman: Hearing on February 8, 2018
Aly Raisman is disgraced at the higher levels of the United States Olympic Committee, as she believes they were aware of Larry Nassar’s molestations towards gymnasts who participated with the U.S Gymnastics. USA Over 250 women, girls, males and other athletes, have experienced sexual mistreatment at the hands of Larry Nassar (2).  These victims serve as a large majority of the stakeholders impacted by this case. Olympians  are role models to young athletes and spectators around the world.Therefore, it is difficult for them to bring light to such disgusting behavior. The Olympics are supposed to be a safe place for families and athletes of all nationalities. However, 
Nassar’s despicable behavior puts the reputation of the entire United States Olympic Committee at risk. Raisman’s lawsuit will be filed toward the U.S Olympics Committee and U.S Gymnastics for negligence of this behavior (1).
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2016 Olympic Gold Medal Winning Team: Coached by Larry Nassar
Stakeholders: There are many prominent stakeholders in this case. First and foremost, the Olympic athletes who were negatively impacted by Nassar’s abusive behavior. These athletes were put in uncomfortable positions by someone that was supposed to be caring and trustworthy. Bringing attention to these issues can be intimidating and even terrifying. This occurred as they were already enduring the stress of being an Olympic athlete. In this case, Raisman serves as one of the many voices speaking for justice. Other specific victims include McKayla Maroney (former U.S Gymnast), Jacob Moore (Michigan), Jessica Thomashow (Michigan) and Katherine Ebert (Michigan). Nassar has a large list of victims and Raisman is enraged at the ability of these organizations to protect innocent people from Nassar’s abuse.Moreover, the United States Olympic Committee as well as the U.S Olympics are major stakeholders in this scenario. The Chief Executive of the U.S Olympic Committee, Scott Blackmun, stepped down due to a prostate cancer diagnosis. The entire U.S Olympic Committee, however, is facing sharp criticism (4). The top officials of both organizations have seemed to dwindle away.
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Larry Nassar on February 8, 2018
The U.S Olympic Committee also required the entire board of U.S Gymnastics to step down. The goal was to improve the organization and create a safer environment for athletes (6).  Members of the U.S Gymnastics Committee, including Steve Penny (former president), Paul Parilla (chairman of the board) and many others resigned from the board.  Raisman believes this is a result of the organizations avoiding to admit how much they knew about Nassar’s predatory behavior (2). The U.S Olympics Committee and U.S Gymnastics both failed to attend Raisman’s hearing on February 8, 2018. Six weeks later, Raisman sued these organizations. She claimed they were “unwilling to conduct a full investigation”. Her goal was to use the legal process to hold them accountable for their actions. Raisman is only one of about 250 women and girls who have sued Nassar and the organizations he affiliated with. (2). Overall, the U.S Olympics Committee and U.S Gymnastics are experiencing extreme backlash from many. Their public relations are at stake. They must react to the victims, their families, and all directly involved in the Olympics in order to further protect their reputation
Individualism: This case is impermissible according to individualists. Individualism refers to the idea that behavior is acceptable as long as it maximizes profit and stays within the boundaries of the law. This case does not meet either of these qualifications.
Utilitarianism: According to utilitarianism, this case would be considered unethical. The goal of utilitarianism is to maximize happiness of those involved. The athletes involved with these incidents are certainly not happy. The  USOC is also unhappy because they are now losing money because they are being sued. The stakeholders in this case would all be negatively impacted emotionally. Therefore, according to utilitarianism, this would be ethically impermissible. 
Kantianism: A Kant would also deem this behavior to be ethically impermissible. Kantianism refers to the idea that people should not be treated as a means to an end. In this case, Aly Raisman believes the USOC were aware of the unacceptable behaviors occurring and chose to look away. The company did not go out of their way to address these claims and they went against the beliefs of Kantianism by not ensuring the safety and satisfaction of the athletes representing their company.
Virtue Theory: Virtue Theory emphasizes the importance of analyzing the situation itself and deciding if it honest and fair. In this case, the company did not address the situation in an honest manner. After many claims were made and they still failed to take proper action, Aly Raisman believed the only way to serve justice to these people would be by suing the company itself. 
Action Plan: The first step the USOC should take is to send out a public address, such as a written news release. This release should discuss to what extent they were aware of Nassar's wrongdoings. Moreover, the goal should be to apologize for the role they placed, whether accidental or not, in allowing Nassar's behavior to hurt and impact so many athletes under their supervision. After addressing the public, the USOC and U.S Gymnastics should specifically reach out to victims, like Raisman, individually. They must attempt to redeem themselves and apologize for their behavior when the news brought these incidents to light. Next, the USOC should work on updating their policies and procedures on sexual abuse. They can achieve this by running sessions, for coaches and athletes, to educate them on the signs of sexual abuse and what to do if they are in a situation themselves. Also, the USOC should hire specialists, such as therapists who work with sexual abuse victims, to be available if athletes need someone to talk to or ask questions to. This will also help to better protect athletes in the future, which goes into the next step of the action plan. The USOC must act on any claims or concerns raised about sexual harassment or abuse. They should be closely connected with the coaches, athletes and therapists in and communicate often and thoroughly. The USOC must be preventative, active and proactive in regards to sexual mistreatment. Overall, the USOC must work to restore their tarnished reputation and ensure to all publics that they will not neglect these, or any issues, ever again. 

1 comment:

  1. Great work. I think it would be easier to understand the information if it was formatted better. To me it felt that it was one big paragraph.