In the News
Source: KMA Land
Jan 26 2018
(Washington) -- Iowa Senator Joni Ernst calls it "a foot stomper"--the recent revelations regarding the sexual harassment and abuse of amateur athletes.
The Red Oak Republican announced Thursday she's supporting New Hampshire Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen's call for a Senate investigation of the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics regarding how Dr. Larry Nassar was given unsupervised access to female gymnasts, allowing him to sexually abuse them over decades. Nassar was sentenced this week to 40-to-175 years in prison after more than 150 women and girls said in court that he sexually abused them over the past two decades. Ernst condemned Nassar's actions--and praised the athletes who came forward to disclose his violations-- in a conference call with reporters.
"Larry Nassar's actions are horrifying and disgusting," said Ernst, "and survivors of his sexual abuse in U.S. gymnastics saw some justice in his sentencing. I'm so inspired by the courage and strength of his survivors."
Ernst and Shaheen are also cosponsors of legislation introduced by California Senator Dianne Feinstein requiring amateur athletic associations, including USA Gymnastics, to report abuse to either local or federal authorities. Ernst says the bill sends a zero-tolerance message against sexual abuse of young athletes.
"There should absolutely be no tolerance for any type of sexual harassment or abuse anywhere in our society," she said. "This is one of those foot stompers for me. It shouldn't happen in the military, it shouldn't happen on campuses, it shouldn't be happening to these amateur athletes. It should happen nowhere."
The senator says it also holds any agency governing amateur athletics accountable for any sexual transgressions.
"We can no longer allow institutions--such as these amateur athletics governing bodies, campus boards--we can't allow them to turn a blind eye to what's going on with sexual abuse in their own particular spheres of influence," said Ernst. "We've got to get that point across. So, we're hoping that with these various pieces of legislation, we can further enforce that it should never be tolerated."
Ernst also urges the House to follow the Senate in passing the bill.