Michigan's Democratic leaders have started responding to the allegations of MSU Head Football Coach Mel Tucker's allegations of sexual harassment that surfaced in a USA Today report on Sunday, both voicing their concern and asking for answers from the institution.
Tucker was suspended without pay Sunday night following the news of a Title IX investigation into the sexual harassment. According to the report by USA Today, Tucker is being accused of non-consensually masturbating during a phone call with rape survivor and advocate Brenda Tracy, who had been working with the football team to promote awareness surrounding the topic of sexual misconduct.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a statement Monday night in response to the news of Mel Tucker’s suspension and Title IX Investigation. In the report, she asks for answers from Michigan State about the timeline of the investigation.
In the statement, Whitmer says that MSU should share details about the timeline of when the allegations came to surface.
Whitmer's statement states as follows:
“As a survivor, I’m shocked. As a Spartan, I’m disappointed. As Governor, I want answers.
I know the pain that so many feel when allegations like this come to light because I live it too. It’s retraumatizing. MSU holds a special place in so many of our hearts—which is what makes this hurt more.
We deserve to know when the university knew about these allegations and why they made the decisions they did. We need to ensure that one of our state’s flagship universities, one that carries so much weight around the world, is learning from the past and not recreating it.
Spartans, survivors and Michiganders—we deserve better."
U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI 7th District) also responded on Monday night calling Tucker's admitted behavior "unacceptable" and stating that as MSU's representative these allegations of sexual harassment are "hard to watch."
Slotkin claimed there is more work to do to have the MSU community free of harassment and violence.
Slotkin's statement is stated below as follows:
“This has been a tough couple days for the MSU community and MSU supporters across the state. While MSU acted yesterday, recent experience on sexual assault and sexual harassment make it understandable that Spartans are deeply pained, frustrated, and left asking questions. What’s clear is that the coach’s admitted behavior was unacceptable and has thrown the institution into yet another maelstrom on these issues. As MSU’s representative and a fan, it’s hard to watch. We all want to get past the Nassar chapter of MSU’s history, but we unfortunately still have more work to do to get to a community free of harassment and violence.”
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