All-Star Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel

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ATX Cheer Dad

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For those with HBO, it's worth watching the most recent episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (S27 E8). The first 20 minutes or so is devoted to USASF's handling of recent sexual assault allegations, Varsity's (and Bain Capital's) control over USASF and stranglehold on the competitive cheer industry, and the influence of profit motive over everything that happens in the industry. For those that have been around the industry for a while, a lot of this is preaching to the choir, but it will be interesting to see if momentum continues to grow for additional oversight / regulation of the sport.
 
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These issues are definitely getting more mainstream attention as of late. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of it. Nobody outside of the cheer world used to know what "Varsity" was (beyond being a term referring to High School sports), but it seems more and more people are catching on. The attention they've received lately has not been great, and I wonder how much they care.

Thanks for the heads up about this show. The episode is available on-demand on HBO Max if anyone is trying to find it. Apparently Worlds was on TV on CBS Sports last week and I had no idea, unfortunately. When the competition airs 4 months after it happens, it's very easy to miss it. From the glimpses I saw of the routines that were shown, they used fake music instead of the real thing, which is a huge issue if cheerleading ever wants to be taken seriously from a TV perspective. The video game sounding music really detracts from the vibe of the routines.
 
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Ugh the stories of the kids were so gross and sickening. It can be hard as an adult to talk your way out of uncomfortable situations; I can’t imagine being a teen trying to navigate something like that. Like wondering if it’s your fault and never even considering telling your parents as an option because you’re embarrassed :(
 
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NJ Coach

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I watched it this morning before work. I wish I could say anything in the piece surprised me, but it didn't. I thought it was very well done, and heartbreaking to hear the stories. The only thing that surprised me was the 2 former employees of varsity and usasf speaking on camera. I'm shocked they weren't made to sign NDA's at the end of their employment. I did find what they had to say interesting, in that it confirmed what has been speculated on for years.
 
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I watched it this morning before work. I wish I could say anything in the piece surprised me, but it didn't. I thought it was very well done, and heartbreaking to hear the stories. The only thing that surprised me was the 2 former employees of varsity and usasf speaking on camera. I'm shocked they weren't made to sign NDA's at the end of their employment. I did find what they had to say interesting, in that it confirmed what has been speculated on for years.

"...it confirmed what has been speculated for years." Bingo. At least as long as the two of us have known each other. Reprehensible in every way.
 

catlady

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Sexual abuse is going to have to be addressed first at the federal and state level before it's ever going to be addressed at an organizational level. There's not a single organization, or person for that matter, that is going to voluntarily take on the legal responsibility unless they can do so without the fear of a false accusation suit coming back in their face. How many times have we heard someone say "I know for a fact," but those individuals never take it to the police? Even Mandatory Reporters, which are told in one breath they have immunity from liability, are told in the next breath, but malicious and false reporting is against the law and can result in fines and/or jail time. Legal backlash is THE reason organizations and individuals don't come forward.

Until all reporters of abuse get immunity from liability, and without fearing a counter suit for malicious and/or false reporting, the problem will remain.
 

Keep_Believing

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Sexual abuse is going to have to be addressed first at the federal and state level before it's ever going to be addressed at an organizational level. There's not a single organization, or person for that matter, that is going to voluntarily take on the legal responsibility unless they can do so without the fear of a false accusation suit coming back in their face. How many times have we heard someone say "I know for a fact," but those individuals never take it to the police? Even Mandatory Reporters, which are told in one breath they have immunity from liability, are told in the next breath, but malicious and false reporting is against the law and can result in fines and/or jail time. Legal backlash is THE reason organizations and individuals don't come forward.

Until all reporters of abuse get immunity from liability, and without fearing a counter suit for malicious and/or false reporting, the problem will remain.

Did you watch it?
 

catlady

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Did you watch it?

No, but these types of stories are one right after another, just insert a new organization. Recently, the AMA was exposed for 1200 dr's still practicing medicine after sexual abuse allegations. After the USAG stories surfaced, the NCAA stories came out on coach sexual abuse (the NCAA is still fighting they have no legal responsibility to protect their athletes from sexual abuse). The Olympics has hundreds of civil lawsuits by underage athletes of coach sexual abuse.

The Boy Scouts recently paid $850 million out to the abused, and there was not a single mention of how many of those hundreds of reported predators went to prison. There is absolutely no incentive to change the laws and give protection to organizations, businesses, and individuals to report abuse when lawyers can make millions arguing they could have done more to protect the victim. If it were one or two businesses shoving things under the rug that's one thing. If it were one or two businesses firing someone and sending them onto the next business, that's another thing. But, when it's on an epidemic level in almost every aspect of religion, sports, school, medicine,...for literally decades...it's time to reevaluate who is ultimately paying the price for a predator's crime.
 
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I think I'm most disappointed in the radio silence from so many. At this point, you have chosen a side and it's pretty clear where every gym stands by their actions (or lack thereof).

By their silence, they have spoken.

Some things are not as complicated as we try to pretend they are. To imply we can do nothing because until the govt does something by those who typically want the govt to do as little as possible to interfere with their ability to make money and hoard power this astounds me to a degree. I go by the what if it is your child mentality. If you are not doing everything you can to protect my child, then I (and my child) don't need you or your organization - wherever and whoever it is. If as a coach I can not report issues to an organization and know that they are promptly investigated and handled instead of shelved due to pressure from the top or not wanting to stigmatize a program with repeated issues, then again I do not need it. I do not need them to tell me. I need them to show me by their actions.

We are living in the days of you saw it but not really, you heard it but not really, you were there but you were mistaken, you don't know the context so we can't judge - all to protect people who INTENTIONALLY violate the rights of others.
 

catlady

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You should watch it. They literally hired an expert to help then basically did the opposite of everything she recommended.

I'm going to watch it this weekend, but out of curiosity what kind of expert? Insurance underwriter? They're usually the ones businesses/organizations/individuals listen to and follow their safety guidelines. Their lawyer? Police? A past predator? Psychologist? We get told there's a way this can be prevented, but with that said, the avg time served for child sexual abuse is 3 years. Three years. Many get a slap on the wrist and put on a state registry ... Only 49 more states to choose from. Many are given the opportunity to be taken off the registry. Meanwhile, the avg sexual abuse neglect settlement is $100,000.

There should be laws providing businesses and individuals LEGAL and clear (not an "expert" that can be disputed in court) guidelines to prevent liability. There should be laws to provide a safe and clear pathway to report abuse without having to fear a counter lawsuit from the alleged criminal or abused. It should be the law to get any child predator off the street with a minimum sentence that actually fits the crime and for them to be on a Federal registry for their lifetime. This is decades of backassward mentality that allows the predator to get a slap on a wrist, while the victim and the individuals they did business with pay the price for their crime.

@tumbleyoda First to quote you, "I go by the what if it is your child mentality." If it were my child, I'd want that person locked up for a lifetime, not an avg of three years, and not a lawyer making 40-60% of a neglect claim for a business that doesn't control the law. To quote you one last time, " "...it confirmed what has been speculated for years." Then why in Hades did all these individuals on this board, in parent rooms, other coaches, etc that claimed "they know or knew" not report it to the police? In your words, "Bingo" the legal system is not reporting friendly.
 
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I'm going to watch it this weekend, but out of curiosity what kind of expert? Insurance underwriter? They're usually the ones businesses/organizations/individuals listen to and follow their safety guidelines. Their lawyer? Police? A past predator? Psychologist? We get told there's a way this can be prevented, but with that said, the avg time served for child sexual abuse is 3 years. Three years. Many get a slap on the wrist and put on a state registry ... Only 49 more states to choose from. Many are given the opportunity to be taken off the registry. Meanwhile, the avg sexual abuse neglect settlement is $100,000.

There should be laws providing businesses and individuals LEGAL and clear (not an "expert" that can be disputed in court) guidelines to prevent liability. There should be laws to provide a safe and clear pathway to report abuse without having to fear a counter lawsuit from the alleged criminal or abused. It should be the law to get any child predator off the street with a minimum sentence that actually fits the crime and for them to be on a Federal registry for their lifetime. This is decades of backassward mentality that allows the predator to get a slap on a wrist, while the victim and the individuals they did business with pay the price for their crime.

@tumbleyoda First to quote you, "I go by the what if it is your child mentality." If it were my child, I'd want that person locked up for a lifetime, not an avg of three years, and not a lawyer making 40-60% of a neglect claim for a business that doesn't control the law. To quote you one last time, " "...it confirmed what has been speculated for years." Then why in Hades did all these individuals on this board, in parent rooms, other coaches, etc that claimed "they know or knew" not report it to the police? In your words, "Bingo" the legal system is not reporting friendly.

I can't speak for others, I can speak for me. Reported whatever I knew. Fired coaches when I had the authority to do it. Protected my gym, employer, athletes, parents, and staff from any potential issues that could have developed once remediation was not followed. Period.

In cases where owners ALLOWED staff to date cheerleaders, I left the company and reported. I did not continue to draw a check from that evil.

If it was my child in this amount of evilness all my niceness would go away and I would not be posting on this board right now. Locked up for life would be their best-remaining bet.
 
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catlady

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I can't speak for others, I can speak for me. Reported whatever I knew. Fired coaches when I had the authority to do it. Protected my gym, employer, athletes, parents, and staff from any potential issues that could have developed once remediation was not followed. Period.

In cases where owners ALLOWED staff to date cheerleaders, I left the company and reported. I did not continue to draw a check from that evil.

If it was my child in this amount of evilness all my niceness would go away and I would not be posting on this board right now. Locked up for life would be their best-remaining bet.

I 100% admire you for everything you did.

When it comes to owners that ALLOWED staff to date cheerleaders, where in the world are the parents? Why aren't they leaving and removing their money from that evil?
 
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