Ex-Michigan and Ohio State athletes team up to stop abuse
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children announced Wednesday that it is partnering with former University of Michigan and Ohio State University athletes who claim they were abused by team doctors, to help children avoid being survivors of sexual abuse.
Chuck Christian, the first former Wolverines football player to publicly say the late Robert Anderson abused him, and former Buckeyes lacrosse player Mike Avery will lead a group of ex-athletes in various youth sports initiatives that will include educating parents and coaches about sexual abuse.
Last week, a law firm’s report concluded staff at the University of Michigan missed many opportunities to stop Anderson commit sexual misconduct for decades with long-term consequences for hundreds of patients, including generations of student athletes. The university has acknowledged Anderson’s abuse. Anderson retired in 2003 and died in 2008.
“The culture of silence surrounding sexual abuse in sports has long been the only reason it was able to continue,” said Christian, who played for the late Bo Schembechler and closed his playing career by helping Michigan win the 1981 Rose Bowl. “By bringing this subject into the light and alerting these young athletes that they don’t have to tolerate this behavior is the first step toward ensuring that it doesn’t continue.”