Statement: BAC response to Netflix Documentary ‘Athlete A’
6th July 2020
The Netflix documentary detailing the abuse scandal in USA Gymnastics, ‘Athlete A’ is truly heart-breaking and disturbing to watch. The sustained sexual and systematic emotional abuse endured by so many young athletes is shocking. We applaud the bravery of those gymnasts that spoke up and the many more that suffered in silence. Even though those in a position of power within the sport they loved failed them on so many levels, the athletes chose not to be silenced and used the power of their voice to get justice. We commend their bravery and also applaud the contribution of the wider network of individuals who supported the athletes, instilling them with the confidence they needed to come forward.
We have seen a greater emphasis placed on the safeguarding and welfare of our athletes over recent years. That said, much more needs to be done to ensure that every single athlete has the ability to train and compete in a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment. The BAC commits to holding those to account where standards fall below this threshold.
We hope that others will feel inspired by the courage of the women who came forward and know that they can do the same, finding comfort and courage in the collective voice. As the independent membership organisation for Olympic and Paralympic athletes, the BAC is always available to listen to any of its members who have safeguarding or welfare concerns and can provide confidential advice and support if required.
Further Information and Support:
NAPAC – National Association for People Abused in Childhood https://napac.org.uk/
NSPCC helpline – https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/our-services/nspcc-helpline/
Childline – https://www.childline.org.uk/get-support/