Simone Biles Me-Too Moment

We know what it is now. It’s the moment. Introduced to us by the brave women who stood up against Harvey Weinstein and kicked off the original Me-Too movement.

Someone has to be first

Me Too founder Tarana Burke says Harvey Weinstein being jailed this year was “astonishing” but far from the end of the movement. Tarana began using the phrase “Me Too” in 2006 to raise awareness of women who had been abused.

And it took off from there like a California wildfire. Besides Weinstein, accusations included Tom Brokaw, Matt Lauer, Jeffrey Epstein, Charlie Rose, Al Franken and Kevin Spacey, among countless others. Careers were shattered and we all lost favorite personalities. I suffered through the losses, particularly Rose, Franken and Spacey. I still miss them, but social justice is inexorable.

Yet some would say those were different times, with different expectations. And they would be right, but the damage was necessary and widespread, with substantial casualties on both sides.

But this is different

Exploitation, for sure. But the guilty are you and me, the fan-base public and our expectations, pumped up by endless interviews and talking-heads whose job it is to speculate.

“Of course Simone Biles is a shoo-in for six personal golds. She’ll lead the American gymnastics team to unprecedented success.”

Really? How much pressure is that for a 24-year-old to carry on her back to Tokyo?

Naomi Osaka made it okay to step away

The 23-year-old World #1 withdrew from the French Open after the first round and declined Wimbledon in order to ‘protect her mental health, saying that after-match interviews were simply too difficult at a time when her focus was required elsewhere.

Criticized by the press for her ‘bad attitude,’ she was immediately supported by Martina Navratilova and, surprisingly, golfer Bubba Watson. Other big names from tennis and other sports rallied to her position.

So now we have me-too in sports abuse

Who knows where this will go, but mental-health issues on the interview circuit are only the beginning. Abuses by tournament directors, coaches, business managers and fitness trainers have long been suspected.

Money attracts abuse and Biles is worth $10 million at the moment and far more as endorsements come on board. Naomi is currently worth $60 million and both young stars are in their infancy earnings-wise.

Stay tuned.


Image Credit: harpersbazaar.com

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