McKayla Maroney can relate to Britney Spears.
The gold medal-winning gymnast has posed in a Britney Spears shirt on Instagram, comparing her experience on Team USA to the pop star’s conservatorship.
The athlete says it takes guts for survivors to speak out against their abusers, and it also takes a toll. From a young age, gymnastics has taught her to work hard and “overcome all obstacles.” She never wanted to be seen as a victim, just hold her abuser – disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar– accountable. That’s why Spears’ story “resonates” so much, because she also had to “fake it til you make it” through the 2012 Olympics… not to mention deal with the media circus.
“[Spears] deserves to spend the rest of her life healing in peace, or doing whatever she wants,” Maroney writes. “The people who control her are criminals, and abusers, just like USA gymnastics, and the USOC used me and their athletes for money, but didn’t care to protect us.”