TJ Nyman accused of rape (Dalilah Sappenfield accused of supporting him)

Judy

Well-Known Member
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1,783
I'd like to hear Brennan's side of this. It's on the journalist to make sure that the potential interviewee understands what is and isn't "off the record", and that the interviewee is OK with whatever conditions are established. But I don't know what this IG poster means when they say that Brennan "texted and gaslighted our entire conversation".

Agreed. I like to hear both sides. I am not sure how she can though until it’s public vs internet but what do I know.
 

IceJunkie

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2,166
Pairs skating has a deep, deep problem, and Dalilah, whether she’s guilty of these accusations or not, proved the kind of person she was with her behavior at Nats last year.

As for Brennan, I’ve rolled my eyes at some of her recent work but I do hope she looks into this.
 

triple_toe

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1,384
As someone who grew up in the sport and has the mental and physical scars from it, as more and more (entirely unsurprising) stories come out, I'm kind of curious how anyone can be fans of it anymore. I've closed the door on being any sort of fan years ago it because I can't stomach it. Make no mistake, all of those girls boys women men etc that you see on tv or online have been subject to some form of abusive relationship, physical, sexual, emotional, what have you. I know no healthy people in this godforsaken sport and I hope it all burns to hell.
 

Natanielle825

Active Member
Messages
97
As someone who grew up in the sport and has the mental and physical scars from it, as more and more (entirely unsurprising) stories come out, I'm kind of curious how anyone can be fans of it anymore. I've closed the door on being any sort of fan years ago it because I can't stomach it. Make no mistake, all of those girls boys women men etc that you see on tv or online have been subject to some form of abusive relationship, physical, sexual, emotional, what have you. I know no healthy people in this godforsaken sport and I hope it all burns to hell.
This is exactly how I feel but watching skating is also the only thing in the world I really love. It tears me up inside and I desperately want to help change the sport but I don't know how.
 

Natanielle825

Active Member
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97
I really hope Christine Brennan gets onto this. It seems that journalists are the best hope of investigating and drawing attention to issues of sexual assault and abuse in sport (as happened with gymnastics). If it takes SafeSport a while to look into it, and the police are not investigating, we will have to rely on the press.
Nothing against you, but this is so unacceptable to me. I don't want to hear people talk about it, I want people arrested. THIS IS A JOB FOR THE POLICE!!
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
Messages
64,425
As someone who grew up in the sport and has the mental and physical scars from it, as more and more (entirely unsurprising) stories come out, I'm kind of curious how anyone can be fans of it anymore. I've closed the door on being any sort of fan years ago it because I can't stomach it. Make no mistake, all of those girls boys women men etc that you see on tv or online have been subject to some form of abusive relationship, physical, sexual, emotional, what have you. I know no healthy people in this godforsaken sport and I hope it all burns to hell.
How curious that you read and post on a figure skating fan board if you feel that way.
 

Frau Muller

Everything is beautiful at the ballet!
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12,246
...all of those girls boys women men etc that you see on tv or online have been subject to some form of abusive relationship, physical, sexual, emotional, what have you. I know no healthy people in this godforsaken sport and I hope it all burns to hell.

You could extend to ballet. The irony is that both skating and ballet are supposed to result in something beautiful. So why do the best continue in it, as pros? Love of art?

As for Brennan, she’s often said that she double- and triple-checks sources before she comes out with a story...which means that we won’t hear from her about this if it doesn’t check out. I suspect that she & USA Today have been burning midnight oil checking sources but, like any responsible journalist, will not publish unless stories can be substantiated. So that says something.
 
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barbarafan

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4,801
I mean, read the further replies and then decide maybe?

This is the poster's response to me when I commented that the language was apparently the big take-away from the post and that Instagram is an extremely popular method of sharing info these days:
just wow! If I poured my heart out to someone about something tramatic and when I stopped the only thing they did was correct my grammar I would be totally pis*ed. I do not want to condemn anyone until I see the layout of the charges and if any evidence exists and what the multiple persons involved are saying. As well, I am not sure if I use girl or person or whatever when I do not remember the name mentioned somewhere as reading back through posts to find the name (sometimes it is not even in the same thread)is hard. Sometimes I look...sometimes I use a random noun and sometimes I do not comment because I am frustrated with my once excellent memory which has now totally left me.
 

Vagabond

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17,209
Nothing against you, but this is so unacceptable to me. I don't want to hear people talk about it, I want people arrested. THIS IS A JOB FOR THE POLICE!!
The only way to stop the pernicious effects of abuse and rape is to shine a light on the subject. If no one talks about it and the press does not talk about it, then the police won't do anything about it.
 

puglover

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2,014
The sad and disheartening thing to me is that at this point in history where we have witnessed so many vehement denials of wrong doing only to later realize they were guilty, people feel okay offering support or condemnation on scanty facts. Whether we personally like the accuser (or perceived accuser), like the reporter, adore the talent of the accused or they were once pleasant to us should be immaterial. We usually do not know much about the sexual activities of even those close to us and especially those many years younger. However, the take away should now be that sexual assault is around us much more than we might want to believe and we should support all rules and efforts to protect young people and keep our eyes and ears open for things that just don't seem quite right.
 

EdmundBonPain

Member
Messages
16
Pairs skating has a deep, deep problem, and Dalilah, whether she’s guilty of these accusations or not, proved the kind of person she was with her behavior at Nats last year.

As for Brennan, I’ve rolled my eyes at some of her recent work but I do hope she looks into this.

Can someone briefly explain her behavior at Nationals this year for those that missed it/the discussion?
 

dramagrrl

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1,870
She (and many of her students, and some other skaters as well) wore a red hat in support of John Coughlin. There were reports afterwards that some of her students did not feel comfortable wearing the hats, but were essentially coerced into wearing them. She also did not just wear the hat quietly - she had extras to give to others and also made a show of waving the cap around in the K&C several times, including flaunting it in front of a SafeSport banner that was up in the arena.
 

Erin

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9,901
Nothing against you, but this is so unacceptable to me. I don't want to hear people talk about it, I want people arrested. THIS IS A JOB FOR THE POLICE!!

It is, but journalists help bring to light the accusations, hold the police accountable, and may encourage other survivors of abuse to go to the police, which may provide additional information that could lead to an arrest. To use the example of Larry Nassar in gymnastics, the FBI had the case for over a year and did nothing with it, and there had also been two previous local police investigations that went nowhere. Then the Indy Star did their story on how USA Gymnastics has been mishandling sexual abuse cases, which resulted in three people contacting the Indy Star about Nassar, at least one of whom made a police report. When the story specifically about Nassar came out, several women recognized their own experiences in the story and also reported to the police. One of those women reported that Nassar had treated her in his home, which meant the police could get a search warrant for his home, and that's how they found the child porn. Another woman who reported after the Indy Star articles was the one with the non-medical case, which is where they were first able to bring charges because they could avoid dealing with a "medically necessary" defence. I'm not sure if he ever would have been arrested without the efforts of the Indy Star.
 

Coco

Rotating while Russian!
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How curious that you read and post on a figure skating fan board if you feel that way.

I don't think it is curious at all. This is an extension of what was at one time @triple_toe 's community. It's natural that he or she would be interested in what goes on here and feel comfortable engaging with other FSU posters.

All communities have 'vibes' and I find sometimes that I would rather engage in the non-skating forums on this board - because of the people who post on FSU - than on boards that focus on other things (law, politics, tennis, whatever). Some of us just like it here, independent of how we feel about skating right now.
 

nlloyd

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1,035
Nothing against you, but this is so unacceptable to me. I don't want to hear people talk about it, I want people arrested. THIS IS A JOB FOR THE POLICE!!

It is difficult for the police to take this up if the victims do not want to lay charges. We saw this with Cipres case; the police could do nothing until the young woman was willing to talk to them. I was thus thinking of the Nassar case, where as @Erin explained, reporters played a key role in bringing the abuse to the public's attention. Other victims, who were no longer active in gymnastics and had had longer to process what had happened to them, came forward.
 

insideedgeua

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864
She (and many of her students, and some other skaters as well) wore a red hat in support of John Coughlin. There were reports afterwards that some of her students did not feel comfortable wearing the hats, but were essentially coerced into wearing them. She also did not just wear the hat quietly - she had extras to give to others and also made a show of waving the cap around in the K&C several times, including flaunting it in front of a SafeSport banner that was up in the arena.

Which was all organised by the parent of a skater.
 

insideedgeua

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I mean... the parent of the skater wasn't the one in the kiss and cry flaunting the hats every chance they got.

I think the whole thing was organized very quickly in a highly emotional atmosphere. The parent came up with the idea and spent money to get the hats very quickly. Thereby creating some pressure on the coach to hand the hats to the skaters too.

Given more time to think it all through, would the parent and the coach make the same decision? I can’t answer that.


What I do think though, is that people who are grieving don’t always think things through or act as rationally as they may at other times.
 
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once_upon

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Which was all organised by the parent of a skater.
Whose mourning should have been dealt with in an entirely different forum than have a coach shove her idea onto skaters who were unquestionably at a vulnerable state - skating, for some at one of their highest moments in a career.

The parent was inappropriate in her request but Sappenfield should have known better. Whether or not she is the perp or not, she has to know what happens in her camp.
 

nlloyd

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I mean... the parent of the skater wasn't the one in the kiss and cry flaunting the hats every chance they got.

I have often wondered why she was so desperate to have her students wear those hats? Why not just give them a choice (or better yet, since they had just finished skating, let them pursue other ways of showing their support)? She seemed to go to extreme lengths to garner support for Coughlin. This was also evident in her social media war against the victims and those who supported them. Was there an element of self-interest in her actions i.e. an attempt to cover up the truth regarding Coughlin, and perhaps to distract from the broader culture of sexual harrassment and assault at the rink?
 

insideedgeua

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864
Whose mourning should have been dealt with in an entirely different forum than have a coach shove her idea onto skaters who were unquestionably at a vulnerable state - skating, for some at one of their highest moments in a career.

The parent was inappropriate in her request but Sappenfield should have known better. Whether or not she is the perp or not, she has to know what happens in her camp.

I’m not arguing or disagreeing with that point of view.

I was merely pointing out that the coach didn’t organize it.
 

tony

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I have often wondered why she was so desperate to have her students wear those hats? Why not just give them a choice (or better yet, since they had just finished skating, let them pursue other ways of showing their support)? She seemed to go to extreme lengths to garner support for Coughlin. This was also evident in her social media war against the victims and those who supported them. Was there an element of self-interest in her actions i.e. an attempt to cover up the truth regarding Coughlin, and perhaps to distract from the broader culture of sexual harrassment and assault at the rink?

None of us can say for sure. One thing that I found interesting is that I was placed into a support for John Coughlin group on Facebook (someone added me to it, I didn't even know it existed). I never posted anything, but I saw the influx of people supporting him, saying the accusers were lying, etc. Then Modlin went on record and said that one of the accusers that spoke up was an 'unstable person' while she and her husband (with a lawsuit of the same nature for years now) were trying to go behind the scenes to talk to accusers. Pathetic.

But then Ashley Wagner went on record saying that it had also happened to her, and that FB group became instantly silent. An occasional post here or there with photos and memories, but nothing like it had been up to that point.
 

bladesofgorey

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298
I think the whole thing was organised very quickly in a highly emotional atmosphere. The parent came up with the idea and spent money to get the hats very quickly. Thereby creating some pressure on the coach to hand the hats to the skaters too.

Given more time to think it all through, would the parent and the coach make the same decision? I can’t answer that.


What I do think though, is that people who are grieving don’t always think things through or act as rationally as they may at other times.
It doesn't matter if it was a parent's idea or she had a spirit visitation from the other side, there is zero excuse for this other than extremely poor judgement coupled with the desire to send a big FU to the accusers using her power over her students and an outsize media platform. I wouldn't excuse someone behaving abusively toward a child, pet, partner etc. just because they are grieving, and I certainly don't give anyone a pass for the kind of behavior Delilah showed during this episode.
 

wickedwitch

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I think the whole thing was organized very quickly in a highly emotional atmosphere. The parent came up with the idea and spent money to get the hats very quickly. Thereby creating some pressure on the coach to hand the hats to the skaters too.

Given more time to think it all through, would the parent and the coach make the same decision? I can’t answer that.


What I do think though, is that people who are grieving don’t always think things through or act as rationally as they may at other times.
I completely get that it was an emotional period. I can only imagine the terror of having a loved one committing suicide. But there are many people who knew and liked John who never publicly acted as if they were victim-blaming or victim-shaming.

Plus, it's been 20 months. She could have apologized for those actions. She could have publicly said something like "I support SafeSport and their mission. Sexual assault is a real and important issue, and I should not have acted in a way that diminishes that. I was reacting out of grief not logic." But that never happened.
 

UGG

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None of us can say for sure. One thing that I found interesting is that I was placed into a support for John Coughlin group on Facebook (someone added me to it, I didn't even know it existed). I never posted anything, but I saw the influx of people supporting him, saying the accusers were lying, etc. Then Modlin went on record and said that one of the accusers that spoke up was an 'unstable person' while she and her husband (with a lawsuit of the same nature for years now) were trying to go behind the scenes to talk to accusers. Pathetic.

But then Ashley Wagner went on record saying that it had also happened to her, and that FB group became instantly silent. An occasional post here or there with photos and memories, but nothing like it had been up to that point.

Maybe we can’t see it now but I think Ashley coming forward will save many lives from being ruined in the future. She held US Ladies on her shoulders for 6 years, was dropped like a hot potato and then tells probably one of the most difficult accounts of her life because she saw Alysa Liu win Nationals. The Olympics should give her a gold medal for being alive.
 

ErikWilliam

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307
The only way to stop the pernicious effects of abuse and rape is to shine a light on the subject. If no one talks about it and the press does not talk about it, then the police won't do anything about it.

Though I agree with the overall sentiment, unfortunately shining a light on the subject obviously is NOT the only way to stop abuse. The people in charge need to actually DO something and be held accountable for any meaningful change. There is no accountability in this administration and it has rubbed off in my opinion to the rest of the country. I mean, a cop slowly suffocates an unarmed non-resisting black man in broad daylight, and half the country still thinks Black Lives Matter and ColinK are just racist unpatriotic blacks? That video of Floyd being slowly murdered didn't seem to even do the trick on shining the light on police brutality against blacks. Half the country supports the cops and criticizes BLM. It's depressing. And the Floyd murder was on video, imagine how difficult it is to for these people at SS to even entertain a he said/ she said sex complaint? They are useless at SafeSport. Just pushing papers to justify their salaries.
 
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overedge

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@ErikWilliam don't forget though that SafeSport is overwhelmed and understaffed - as in, not having enough staff to adequately address the volume of complaints that they have received. I don't know how it can function effectively under those conditions. I don't know whose responsibility it is to get SafeSport more funding - I believe it's funded by allocations from each of the Olympic sports it oversees - but this is something that clearly needs to be addressed for SafeSport to provide the services it's supposed to provide.
 

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