There are circumstances where saying “I’m sorry” is appropriate. You bumped into someone on the sidewalk, you say it, it means something because you’re expressing regret at an accident, you didn’t mean to do it, you don’t want to ever do it again. We can believe it.
But there’s another kind of sorry, the one where you’ve done something intentionally, repeatedly, and would have kept doing it if someone hadn’t stopped you — your primary regret was that you were caught. Yet we treat these kinds of cases as if they were similar to the “oops, excuse me, I didn’t mean to step on your toes” sort of case. We still expect an apology — a completely meaningless, pointless apology.
Like the Larry Nassar story. The judge seems to get it.
The former sports doctor who admitted molesting some of the nation’s top gymnasts for years was sentenced Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison as the judge declared: “I just signed your death warrant.”
The sentence capped a remarkable seven-day hearing in which scores of Larry Nassar’s victims were able to confront him face to face in a Michigan courtroom.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said Nassar’s “decision to assault was precise, calculated, manipulative, devious, despicable.”
“It is my honor and privilege to sentence you. You do not deserve to walk outside a prison ever again. You have done nothing to control those urges and anywhere you walk, destruction will occur to those most vulnerable,” Aquilina said.
Yes. What he did was intentional and malicious and repeated hundreds of times. Why would anyone trust any sign of remorse? His ‘apology’ is garbage.
Nassar turned to the courtroom gallery to make a brief statement, saying that the accounts of more than 150 victims had “shaken me to my core.” He said “no words” can describe how sorry he is for his crimes.
“I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days” he said as many of his accusers wept.
This is the same guy who wanted to be excused from listening to the victims’ statements, because they hurt his feelings. The same guy who submitted a letter objecting to the women’s accusations.
“Those patients that are now speaking out are the same ones that praised and came back over and over,” Nassar wrote. “The media convinced them that everything I did was wrong and bad. They feel I broke their trust. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
This is a whole different category of actions from the accident or error that warrants an apology; this was a purposeful action to do harm to children and teenagers for his own slimy gratification. You can’t say “I’m sorry” to that. There’s no point to it. You’re dealing with a damaged human with bad motivations and no social constraints. An apology here is an excuse told by a psychopath to escape punishment and be set free to commit his crimes some more.
There are a whole bunch of greedy psychopaths who deserve justice in this affair. Charles Pierce hits it just right.
Is there anything about the modern Olympic Games that isn’t corrupt? The people who run them make up a claque of international bagmen, shaking down whole countries and bankrupting cities as though the entire world was their goodie bag. There are drugs and bribery, and there was Sochi, which was a monument to both of them. And now there’s this incredible crime spree that took place right under the noses of the Olympic officials. Back in the day, East Germany had its steroid-peddling doctors. The U.S.A. had Larry Nassar. Two-tie, all tie.
NBC should refuse to pay a dime toward its rights fees until everyone involved in this catastrophe is unemployed. If they so choose, American gymnasts should be allowed to compete in 2020 under the Olympic flag or, perhaps, under the flags of the nations from which their parents emigrated. Their country failed them as surely as did the sporting organizations that purport to represent it. No punishment is too harsh for the inhabitants of this universe of ghouls and gargoyles to which these brave young women were condemned. Burn it all down. Salt the earth so it never rises again.
It would be comical to ask this hierarchy of criminal exploiters to apologize for the institutional child slavery and abuse ring they assembled. They knew what they were doing. They wanted to take advantage of these girls and young women, they built the structures that condoned their abuses, they profited heavily from them. No apology is permissable. They must have it all torn away from them, they must be stripped of their rotten gains, they must never be allowed anywhere near athletics ever again.
I’m too cynical to believe any of that will happen, though. Nassar is getting what he deserves, everyone else will walk away with their wallets stuffed.