For the Golden Globes this past January, A-list attendees banded together to make a statement about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. And while the stars dressing in sartorial solidarity was specifically about Hollywood, the #MeToo conversation permeates every profession — sports included.
Just weeks after many Olympians testified against former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar for sexual misconduct, fellow athletes are competing in PyeongChang, South Korea. And while Team USA’s been provided with red, white, and blue uniforms, many would wear black, carry a white rose, or accessorize with a Time’s Up pin — if it didn’t break several International Olympic Committee laws.
Jessica Smith-Kooreman, a short track speed skater, would “of course” slip on a black suit (she actually practices in one from Under Armour). “I feel that, as women, we need to stand up for one another and protect each other’s rights,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The main thing is doing it for the right reasons, not the wrong ones. I don’t think any woman should be taken advantage of. At the same time, I believe that we are strong, powerful, and we do have voices, and our voices need to be heard.”
Hockey player Monique Lamoureux would “absolutely” wear black too. “What all the Hollywood actors did was moving and cool to see,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. Lamoureux, who was an integral part of helping the U.S. women’s national ice hockey team negotiate a history-making contract for wage equality and treatment, notes that seeing black on so many participants “reiterated over again that it’s not just about Hollywood, it’s about professions over the world. It’s not just about women but men as well, creating equality across the board.”
Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis was equally emphatic in her enthusiasm about the cause — but notes that “we’re not supposed to be doing any political statements.” It’s a regulation she agrees with because she believes that voicing her personal opinions isn’t why she and her teammates are at the Olympics. “We’re there as athletes coming together and showing the world what we’ve been training for over the last four years,” she says. “It’s supposed to be a time of peace and honoring other athletes who have worked their hardest to get to that moment.”
Aja Evans feels differently about the Olympics and believes they’re a time to shed light on issues — like representation in sports such as hers, bobsledding, that traditionally have been predominantly white and European. Evans is highly supportive of the #MeToo movement, especially “people who use their platform to stand for something so much bigger.”
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