by Irvin Muchnick
On Wednesday we reported the new public petition, coordinated by Women’s Sports Foundation senior director of advocacy Nancy Hogshead-Makar, seeking to get coach Andy Gabel thrown out of the Speedskating Hall of Fame and U.S. Speedskating.
Again, the petition is at http://www.change.org/petitions/u-s-olympic-speedskating-board-of-directors-remove-andy-gabel-from-the-speedskating-hall-of-fame-and-revoke-his-lifetime-membership-in-u-s-speedskating?share_id=ACzrfCXWkM&utm_campaign=share_button_action_box&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition.
One of my favorite posts so far in the comments section is from Eva Rodansky, who writes:
“I represented the USA on the World Cup circuit in speedskating from 2001-05. The sport was an ‘old boys’ club’ in which female athletes were treated with disrespect. Gabel was president of USS at the time, and was a complete jerk to me because I didn’t give him the hero-worship he seemed to expect from younger female athletes. Rumors flew about his inappropriate conduct with female athletes, but until Bridie [Farrell] and Nikki [Ziegelmeyer] came forward, they were ‘just rumors.’ Let’s support these brave women and take a stand against those who abuse their power over women in sports!”
Sources say this is just the start of a new surge of initiatives by the Women’s Sports Foundation on sexual abuse in amateur sports. Follow Concussion Inc. next week for more on this developing story.