Takeaways from Wednesday’s hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sparked by the Larry Nassar case:
— The NFL anthem protest policy was announced literally in the middle of the Congressional hearing. So no matter how important this hearing, it was immediately dwarfed by the NFL. That is a hard truth in the American sporting and cultural landscape.
— The cues were clear before Wednesday’s session that Congress seems remarkably disinclined to undertake a wholesale restructuring of the Olympic system in the United States. To reiterate a point made over and again in this space: the U.S. Olympic Committee is not boss of 49 national governing bodies. Instead, the USOC and NGBs are affiliated.
— What’s also crystal clear is that sexual abuse is a serious problem in Olympic sport. No one should pretend otherwise. It’s a problem in society at large. It would be the height of naivete to think that sport should be immune.
— What’s equally, profoundly clear is that it’s going to take real money to address this very serious issue. So who has stepped up? The USOC. Anyone else?