Shawn Johnson Says She's 'Disgusted' With USA Gymnastics and Larry Nassar
By Liz Calvario
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Image
Shawn Johnson is speaking out after countless USA Gymnastics team members have claimed that they were sexually abused by Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor who has been accused of abusing dozens of young girls over the past years.
In a YouTube video shared on Monday, the 26-year-old U.S. Olympian wrote in the caption, "This was the hardest video I have ever had to make, but I had to make it. Gymnastics was a huge part of my life and I want to make sure other children are able to enjoy the sport. We need protection from people like Larry Nassar and we need to change the systems and guidelines that are in place."
Johnson then goes on to address Nassar and how disappointed she is with USA Gymnastics.
"Knowing that USA Gymnastics has failed their athletes so terribly disappoints me and makes me so incredibly angry," Johnson says in the video. "I think the fact that any of this has ever happened shows that USA Gymnastics has failed as a governing body to protect the athletes that it supports and claims to care about. I don't know. This video is so hard for me to make. We've tried to shoot this countless times and I have ended up in tears, I've been angry, I've been confused. Just because there are so many words and so many experiences that I have gone through."
Getting emotional and tearing up, Johnson continues by saying how "wrong" the situation is.
"To see the videos of Aly [Raisman] and Jordyn [Wieber], these girls that I grew up with and love so much, have to face this man, a man that has violated them in the worst way possible, is just disgusting," she continues. "And I think if you want to gain the trust of the world, if you want to gain the trust from coaches and from parents and make little girls feel comfortable again -- you need to change the system completely."
Nassar was a doctor for USA Gymnastics for 30 years and has been accused of sexually abusing more than 100 young girls over that time. McKayla Maroney, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas are among the women who have accused Nassar of abuse over the years. In November, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct. In December, a judge sentenced Nassar to 60 years in prison for possession of child pornography.
"I continue to be in awe of my teammates and other women and the bravery it took for them to come forward with their own stories of Larry Nassar's abuse,” Liukin wrote in a blog post. “All week long I have been a witness to their testimonies live on my computer. They all inspire me with their courage.”
Last week, Raisman and Wieber appeared in court to give statements regarding Nassar.
"Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force, and you are nothing," Raisman told Nassar in a scathing, nearly 15-minute statement at his sentencing in a Michigan courtroom. "The tables have turned, Larry. We are here, we have our voices and we are not going anywhere."