Jewish gymnast Aly Raisman’s mom expressed concern for her daughter, as well as the climate of violence in the U.S., in a statement she posted to Twitter on Sunday night.
Lynn Raisman, who you may remember from her anxious reactions to her daughter’s routines, wrote about how her Olympic medalist daughter came forward as a survivor of sexual abuse about a year ago. Aly, along with more than a hundred other gymnasts, accused team doctor Larry Nasser of abuse. Since then, she has been a powerful and courageous activist on behalf of sexual assault survivors.
And while 24-year-old Aly works tirelessly to bring media attention to the abuse she and her fellow gymnasts endured, her mama is speaking out on her behalf. (Aly, for her part, has long championed her mom for having her back.)
“My daughter’s abuser plead guilty and is in jail, yet, she is still subject to vicious attacks on social media,” Lynn wrote. “A recent attack by a USA Gymnastics club owner and state safety chair, compared her to a Nazi and referred to her as a lizard person, an antisemitic term used to dehumanize people of Jewish faith.”
Lynn is referring to Don McPherson, a “state safety chair” (whatever that means), who wrote in a Facebook post calling Aly’s tweets about firing Ron Galimore, a USA gymnastics official who covered up Nasser’s abuse, “lizard people propaganda.”
Why is Don McPherson Illinois state safety chair? He continues to malign athletes, Aly in particular. This statement, which seems to compare her to the Nazis is just beyond … so horrifyingly egregious and offensive. Get him out of the sport. pic.twitter.com/1f4M11mZLD
— Jennifer Sey (@JenniferSey) November 3, 2018
(As of this writing, both McPherson and Gailmore are still employed by USA Gymnastics. According to a post on a Reddit thread, “I’m hoping McPherson (and Galimore too) will get the boot, but USAG were dragging their heels in firing abusers so I can’t imagine an anti Semitic guy is any higher up on the chopping board.”)
“The timing of this post,” Lynn continued, “so close to the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh is not lost on me. Words matter. Words incite Hate. Words incite violence.”
As always, mom knows best: This horrific antisemitism, so close to the tragedy in Pittsburgh, is terrifying. It’s deeply upsetting that USA Gymnastics refuses to fire these men, and that Aly Raisman — who has been through so much — has to deal with continued harassment.
Read Lynn’s full message here: