A couple of weeks ago, Aly Raisman accused Dr. Nassar of sexual abuse, joining more than 100 other gymnasts.
Aly responded to some truly despicable victim-blaming, only for her former teammate, Gabby Douglas, to seemingly victim-blame Aly for "immodesty." Gabby apologized after the backlash, but ... yikes.
Now Gabby's come forward. Not only to apologize again, but to say that she, too, is a survivor of Dr. Nassar's sex abuse.
After Aly Raisman gave a similar account to McKayla Maroney's molestation accusations against Dr. Larry Nassar, their former team doctor, Aly posted about how dressing a certain way before or after being a victim of sexual abuse doesn't in any way negate what happened.
(As we mentioned at the time, if haters see assault survivors living their lives, they dismiss what happened as "not that bad." If they see survivors as nervous shut-ins, they tell them to "get over it." It's vile)
Gabby Douglas jumped in with a truly awful take: a reminder that women have a "responsibility" to dress modestly, or they might invite the wrong kind of attention.
That's awful, and the backlash was intense. Which, we imagine, is why Gabby Douglas apologized at the time and has now posted this lengthy apology:
"First, I want to reiterate my apology for responding the way that I did to a comment that one of my teammates posted."
That's good. A personal desire for modesty is every bit as valid as any other personal outfit choice, from niqabs to nudity. Saying that others have a "responsibility" to feel as you do ... is unacceptable.
"I know that some of you may take what I am about to say as insincere, but I still wanted to provide context."
Context is always good.
"The day before I commented, I was at an event where hundreds of children and young adults came to spend an evening with me."
That's not really a surprise. She's still a household name and she's an athletic superstar.
"It's very humbling when many people look up to you as an example."
Most people would assume that it's the opposite of humbling, but we can see that.
"I take my job as a role model very seriously and I always want to do my best to represent all the best qualities that a role model should embody. I admit there are times that I fall short."
"I didn't view my comments as victim-shaming because I know that no matter what you wear, it NEVER gives anyone the right to harass or abuse you."
That's true. You can pass out naked in somebody's house, and they still don't have the right to touch you without your consent. No one does.
"It would be like saying because of the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar."
Note that she says we, following up her use of the #MeToo hashtag in her first apology by confirming that she is a fellow survivor.
(Going through awful stuff doesn't negate the problematic things that you might say or do later in life, but they can put things into context)
"I didn't publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because for years we were conditioned to stay silent and honestly some things were extremely painful."
We can only imagine how painful it would be to hold onto that secret, to be burdened by it.
"I wholeheartedly support my teammates for coming forward with what happened to them."
And that's good.
Gabby's message continues:
"I understand that many of you didn't know what I was dealing with, but it is important to me that you at least know this."
"I do not advocate victim shaming/blaming in any way, shape, or form!"
It sure sounded like that was what she was doing in her now-deleted "modesty" post.
"I will also never support attacking or bullying anyone on social media or anywhere else."
That's good ... but almost sounds like she's talking about the backlash that she received.
"Please forgive me for not being more responsible with how I handled the situation."
Responsible is exactly the right word.
"To every other individual that commented to or about me hatefully, I apologize that I let you down too."
That's a very mature way to respond to your haters.
"I will never stop promoting unity, positivity, strength, being courageous, and doing good instead of evil."
That's good ... though some of those are vague and could mean very different things from very different people.
"I have learned from this and I'm determined to be even better."
She sends it with:
"All my love, Gabby."
Whatever you may think of Gabby Douglas before or after this second apology, she did not deserve to be one of Dr. Larry Nassar's countless alleged victims.
Dr. Nassar, who has been in jail while awaiting sentencing for child porn charges, pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to sexual assault.
He is being sued by over 125 women, most of whom are gymnasts.
This story is ongoing, in that Nassar still awaits sentencing. And we may have not yet heard from all of the victims.