Nassar survivors speak out after offensive banner hung on U of M fraternity house

Posted at 7:26 PM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-20 19:26:08-05

Larry Nassar survivors are speaking out and taking to social media after a banner was displayed Saturday out front of the Psi Upsilon fraternity house in Ann Arbor during the Michigan-Michigan State football game. That banner saying “you can’t touch us at Larry Nassar" and "Welcome to the school you didn’t get into."

Nassar survivors are upset about this banner and say it was a sign of disrespect for the hundreds of survivors who live with this nightmare everyday.

"My first reaction to seeing the banner was why is my abuse suddenly a punch line," said Grace French, a Nassar survivor. "Rape jokes aren’t funny, assaults aren’t funny."

The Spartans were in town Saturday playing the Wolverines. It’s no secret the two schools have a massive rivalry, but displaying something like this goes beyond a rivalry.

"Using the abuse of possibly your friends on campus or in the State as a way to get back at a team or as a verbal weapon to further a rivalry is ridiculous and seems uneducated to me," French said.

Multiple survivors expressed their anger on social media. Simone Biles took to twitter saying, “this is the type of stuff that makes my stomach sick. I hope the school is taking the proper measurements in investigating this."

The University of Michigan responded in a statement that read, in part: “ The chapter will be pursuing corrective action with those responsible for hanging the banners and those who failed to intervene."

Things that are not okay: using survivors as a punchline for your school rivalry

— Kirsten 🎄 (@KirstenLovely1) November 16, 2019

The fraternity later released a statement saying, "We recognize our fault and it truly was not our intention to ostracize, trigger memories, or diminish the experiences of survivors of sexual assault in any way. This sign showed insensitivity and lack of judgement.”

Students on the University of Michigan campus say the banner was inappropriate.

"The average person makes a sign as a funny joke, and I think we all know it’s not funny," said student Seth Clemente.

In the end, survivors of Larry Nassar say they hope something positive comes out of this incident.

"I think in the community and in the world at large, those education steps need to happen," French said. "I think people need to understand and value and believe survivors more than they do at the moment."

French added that she has started a nonprofit to educate students on campus and across the country about sexual assault and ways to speak out.