OAKLAND — Convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar being allowed to practice for years — despite the horrific allegations that ultimately became his downfall — has rocked the Michigan State community. After practice on Tuesday, Draymond Green attempted to address the situation.
The Golden State Warriors forward expressed sympathy of Nassar’s victims. Prosecutors expect 158 victims (or family members) to make statements against the disgraced doctor, according to CNN.
“I feel sorry for the victims,” Green said. “You’ve got to live the rest of your life with that stuff. I can’t really say much to that. I’ve never experienced that. That’s never hit close to home with me. When I say close to home, obviously a female family member dealing with stuff like that.”
But he does have a 9-year-old niece who is a gymnast with dreams of being in the Olympics one day.
“I think about it in the sense of, man, she’s a few years younger and maybe she dealt with that and then maybe I’d have a completely different look on it. Not that I don’t feel sorry for the victims now, but it’ll be impossible for me to say I understand what you’re going through. I don’t understand, but I do feel for them. And I wish them well in their journey through life because it’s something that never goes away. I wish them all the best, and just recovering from that, moving forward in life and using the experience for the better if that’s at all possible.”
Green donated $3.1 million to MSU in 2015.
“I know [Nassar] doesn’t represent what Michigan State stands for,” Green said. “They say if one bad apple spoils the bunch, maybe he hurt the name of Michigan State. But one thing I know is it is a very resilient university that will recover.”
Green expressed a belief that the school will handle the scandal properly.
“They’ll do the necessary things to correct the problem, make it right as much as you can make that right,” he said. “You can never change that, you can never take that away. But I know the university will take the necessary steps to do whatever they can to make sure it doesn’t happen again, to help the victims in any way they can and just move forward.”
So far, the administration has appeared unprepared and unequipped to properly move on from a disgrace of this proportion.
Calls for university president Lou Anna K. Simon to step down have been met with opposition and several key figures for the school have made statements that have been criticized for being tone deaf.
During a radio appearance on WVFN-AM, Trustee Joel Ferguson said the board discussed Simon’s position for just 10 minutes at the last meeting.
“There’s so many more things going on at the university than just this Nassar thing,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson went on to defend Simon because of the growth to the basketball facilities and then laughed off a suggestion that MSU is facing a similar situation to Penn State, which allowed Jerry Sandusky to use the football program to commit sexual acts against children.
“This is not Penn State,” Ferguson said. “They were dealing with their football program. … They’re smart enough to know they’re not competent to walk in here on this.”
Green’s coach and mentor, Tom Izzo, has also come under fire for his comments on Nassar.
Last Friday, Izzo said he hoped “the right person was convicted” as he supported Simon’s position at the university.
He clarified his statement on Sunday.
“On Friday night in my postgame press conference, I used the wrong words when trying to express my belief that Larry Nassar and anyone else who broke the law should be held accountable for their crimes,” Izzo said in the statement obtained by ESPN. “My overall message was, and remains, that I have tremendous admiration for the courage the survivors have shown, and that Larry Nassar has permanently damaged the lives of so many people and deserves all the punishment that he receives.”
Nassar pled guilty to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and the judge deciding his fate has said he will die in jail.