Saturday, April 7, 2018

U.S Gymnastics and Larry Nassar (2017-2018)


On January 28 of this year, Larry Nassar, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after pleading guilty to several counts of sexual assault on minors. Larry Nassar was the former physical trainer for both the Michigan State and the United States Gymnastics program. Those within the gymnastics programs of both organizations would go to Nassar for their sport related injuries. However, Nassar would not preform his proper duties and instead sexually assault the young women. Nassar stated that while performing the horrific acts on the young women that his methods would help the girls through their injuries.
Larry Nassar during his trial

Larry Nassar's actions not only caused physical harm, but also mental harm. Eric Levenson of CNN says that here, “because of the abuse, they struggled with anxiety, depression, and instances of self-harm” (Levenson). This had not been going on for just a year or two, Nassar was being accused of sexual assault all the way back into the 1990s. All the accusations were being swept under the rug by U.S gymnastics and Michigan State, because many of those at the higher level just simply didn’t believe what was going on, and many thought of Nassar of a renowned Doctor and couldn’t be doing the actions he was accused of. Another factor as to why the accusations were swept under the rug was because of the success of the programs. Many at U.S Gymnastics believed that with the success of their program, the job done by Nassar to help the girls recover from injuries was very satisfactory.


A stakeholder of a company is any person, organization, group, or society at large that has a stake within the business. In this case there were many influenced by the actions of Nassar. Firstly, the women abused, and the families of those women. These women have suffered because of the action from Nassar, and are the closest effected. The second group of stakeholders is the employees of U.S Gymnastics and Michigan State that swept everything under the rug, and in turn many of those aware of Nassar’s actions were fired. Another group of stakeholders is the fans of U.S gymnastics, as this controversy will most likely hang over the organization for quite a long time. Also, many of the fans of gymnastics will be more inclined to not watch U.S Gymnastics or Michigan State gymnastics because of this controversy.

Former sponsor Under Armour

The theory of individualism states that the main idea is to maximize the profits of the organization. This theory applied to those within U.S gymnastics as the fear of this controversy coming out would result in loss of sponsors. Their fears became true as many sponsors have left since the Nassar case has arisen. Under Armour, AT&T, Kellogg, Proctor & Gamble, and Hersey have all dropped their sponsorship with U.S gymnastics (Chicago Tribune). Sponsorships and marketing accounted for about a quarter of U.S gymnastics recorded revenue in 2015, which totaled $23.7 million. With losing the previously mentioned sponsors, they have lost close to 6 million dollars (Detroit News). U.S gymnastics will have to gain the trust of companies again in order to gain sponsorships that are needed to run the organization.


The theory of utilitarianism is that the business actions should aim to maximize the happiness of all those affected by the business’s actions. The actions by those at U.S gymnastics did not follow this theory, as many affected by Nassar’s actions have lead to depression as well as a fear in their own personal relationships. The actions by US gymnastics to sweep everything under the rug has harmed  a lot of people. Not only were the young women harmed by Larry Nassar, but the families were deeply affected too. Even after time has past for the victims, they are still searching for answers. One of Nassar's victims stated, "It's insulting as a victim to have to beg for answers as to why Nassar was enabled for as long as he was" (Huffington Post). Many of the victims feel as though U.S gymnastics did what was right for them as an organization, but not what was right morally. 
Under this theory one should always act in a way that respects other individuals, this means one should not lie, cheat, or manipulate to get your way. Those at U.S gymnastics did not follow the Kantianism theory. Those in charge lied and manipulated in order to keep the program clean of controversy. By sweeping the potential controversy under the rug, the leaders at U.S gymnastics lied in order to keep their program running smoothly and to keep potential back lash from sponsors and viewers away. Those in charge did not respect the girls that were harmed, instead they chose to side with the doctor because of the current success of the program.
Olympian Aly Raisman testifies against Nassar
Virtue Theory
The theory of Virtue Theory is that a person is making a moral decision when acting with good character traits and the person is immoral when they are acting with bad character traits. In this case, U.S gymnastics and Michigan State acted very immoral. With around 200 women accusing Nassar of sexual assault and for both organizations to basically brush aside these claims is immoral. For U.S gymnastics to be following the Virtue theory correctly, they should of taken action as soon as they first heard about the claims against Nassar. Also, firing Nassar and seeking to press charges would have been the moral decision.

Connor, Tracy. “FBI Says Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar Recorded Abuse on Go Pro.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 21 Dec. 2016,

Leonard, Kimberly. “Larry Nassar Sent to Maximum Security Prison.” Washington Examiner, Washington Examiner, 10 Feb. 2018,

Levenson, Eric. “Larry Nassar Sentenced to up to 175 Years in Prison for Decades of Sexual Abuse.” CNN, Cable News Network, 24 Jan. 2018,

Novy-Williams, Eben. “Sponsor Leave USA Gymnastics after Nassar Scandal.” Detroit News, 23 Jan. 2018,

Press, Associated. “Sponsors Flee Scandal-Plagued USA Gymnastics; Future Cloudy.”, Chicago Tribune, 25 Jan. 2018,

Vagianos, Alanna. “140 Women Have Accused Larry Nassar Of Abuse. His Victims Think We Don't Care.” The Huffington Post,, 14 Jan. 2018,

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