(L-R) Sarah Klein, Tiffany Thomas Lopez, Aly Raisman and recipients of the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage speak onstage at The 2018 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Aly Raisman, Sarah Klein, and Tiffany Thomas Lopez, took the stage along with 140 other survivors from Larry Nassar’s abuse at the 2018 ESPY Awards on Wednesday and brought down the house with their emotional and powerful words about taking down abusers in the athletic world.
The three women, surrounded by their fellow sister survivors, recounted the 30 years of abuse that women suffered at the hands of doctor, Nassar, while USA gymnastics and Michigan State University ignored their claims.
Klein, who was first abused by Nassar three decades ago, began their tribute by thanking the ESPYS and the Arthur Ashe Family for honoring survivors of abuse. She then went on to tell the world that it was one woman — Detective Lieutenant Andrea Munford and the Michigan State Police Department- -who finally investigated their claims.
“Speaking up and speaking out is not easy. Telling our stories of abuse over and over and over again, in graphic detail, is not easy,” she said. “We’re sacrificing privacy and being judged and scrutinized, and it is painful, but it is time.”
Raisman also spoke out about how their story has impacted others.
“The ripple effect of our actions, or inactions, can be enormous, spanning generations. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of this nightmare is that it could have been avoided,” Raisman said. “Whether you act or do nothing, you are shaping the world that we live in. Impacting others. All we needed was one adult to have the integrity stand between us and Larry Nassar.”
Lopez, a softball player, said more people need to become more comfortable with uncomfortable topics like sexual abuse.
“There are a lot of conversations in our society that we tiptoe around as if they’re something to avoid.” she said. “Sexual abuse claims victims come in every race, showing no discrimination.”
“Tonight,” Lopez added, “we stand here and it feels like we’re finally winning.”