The slew of sexual assault allegations — and perceived lack of action — involving USA Gymnastics reportedly is about to hit the governing body in the wallet.
Because of the inaction of USAG to protect its gymnasts from the criminal activity of a former team doctor, three major sponsors now are withdrawing their funding: Proctor & Gamble, Hershey’s and Under Armour, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Proctor & Gamble and Hershey’s are nearing the end of their contracts and have elected to not renew, while Under Armour is terminating their eight-year deal that was signed in 2013.
“Procter & Gamble said in a statement provided to ESPN that ‘we will evaluate to renew our partnership next spring, in light of our longer term priorities and continued actions on their part,’” Rovell wrote. “The statement also said the company wants to ‘ensure all voices who have been affected by abuse have been heard and that USAG takes all measures necessary to address such vitally important issues.’”
The allegations are directed towards former team doctor Larry Nassar, who recently was sentenced to 60 years in prison for possession of child pornography. North of 140 gymnasts have accused the former doctor of sexual assault.
Numerous gymnasts have attempted to hold Team USA accountable, insisting the governing body did not do enough to protect them. But ESPN notes that last week USAG began the process to get those allegations tossed, believing they are not liable for Nassar’s actions.
Given the huge impact it would have on them, the financial implications could signal the start of USA Gymnastics taking some accountability in one form or another for what happened after largely being silent throughout the process so far.