Gabby Douglas says she’s “deeply sorry” for a comment she made about Fierce Five teammate Aly Raisman’s stance on sexual assault victims.
In an Instagram post Friday, Raisman spoke out against those who blame sexual assault on the way victims dress.
“Just because a woman does a sexy photo shoot or wears a sexy outfit does not give a man the right to shame her or not believe her when she comes forward about sexual abuse,” Raisman wrote. “What is wrong with some of you? AND when a woman dresses sexy it does not give a man the right to sexually abuse her EVER.
“Women are allowed to feel sexy and comfortable in their own skin, in fact I encourage you all to wear what you feel good in. I will not put up with any woman or girl being shamed for wanting to wear a skirt, dress, etc. I do not tolerate it. Are we clear? Oh and one more thing. STOP VICTIM SHAMING. It is because of you that so many survivors live in fear.”
In response to her former U.S. Olympic teammate, Douglas wrote on Twitter that “it is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy. dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd.” That tweet has since been deleted, but it drew criticism from Simone Biles, Raisman and Douglas’s 2016 Olympic teammate, who said Douglas’s comment “doesn’t surprise me.”
Douglas apologized later Friday on Twitter:
Raisman has become more vocal about sexual abuse since revealing she had been molested by Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor. She is the second member of the Fierce Five to say she was sexually abused by Nassar. Last month, McKayla Maroney detailed how Nassar began molesting her at the age of 13 at a U.S. national team training camp in Texas and continued the abuse until she left the sport. Maroney also said Nassar abused her at the London Games.
Nassar, USA Gymnastics’ team physician for nearly 20 years, pleaded guilty to federal child-pornography charges in June and has been accused by more than 100 women and girls of sexual assault during his time as USA gymnastics’ team doctor. He is scheduled to be sentenced on federal child-pornography charges Nov. 27 in Michigan. Prosecutors have recommended that he be given a prison sentence of between 22 and 27 years. Nassar still faces 22 state charges in Michigan over allegations that he sexually assaulted children, and convictions in those cases could result in a life sentence. His actions also are the subject of a class-action lawsuit filed by his alleged victims against both USA Gymnastics and Michigan State, where Nassar worked for a number of years.