Things Are Happening – September 9, 2020

A. Gymnast Alliance

Yesterday, a big gymnast alliance furor developed over the news that Ellie Downie’s complaint of weight-shaming in British gymnastics—including that she was told to lose 6kg over two weeks and that she was told to send daily photos of herself in her underwear to prove her diet—has not been upheld. Which is British for denied.

The English Institute of Sport went on to say, “Bruf bruf procedures bruf bruf bruf,” but I have more questions than that. Like, for instance, [Pauline Tratz yelling EXPLANATION PLEASE dot gif].

The behavior that Ellie Downie describes here is patently unacceptable, so if the complaint was not upheld, what’s the implication there? That you’re claiming that Ellie is lying? Or, that you’re claiming what she was asked to do was OK? Or, that you don’t have enough evidence to proceed? What?

These sport organizations have done far too little to earn trust for anyone to simply accept “we looked into our behavior, and it turns out that shhhh” as a satisfactory or complete answer, and the coldly bureaucratic dismissal of this complaint will only impede efforts to improve the sport. Why would anyone bother putting themselves through the strain of making a complaint about the painful way things are done if the only predictable outcome is a closed door?

Continue reading Things Are Happening – September 9, 2020