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Linking Fired Women's Gymnastics Coach to Sex Abuser Larry Nassar Could Be "Libel by Implication"

Added 05-14-22 04:21:02pm EST - “So the Michigan Court of Appeals held Thursday, in a case brought by the former head women's gymnastics coach at Central Michigan University.” - Reason.com


Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reason.com: “Linking Fired Women’s Gymnastics Coach to Sex Abuser Larry Nassar Could Be “Libel by Implication””. Below is an excerpt from the article.

From Reighard v. ESPN, decided by Chief Judge Mark Boonstra and Judges Michael J.  Kelly & Brock Swartzle (Presiding Judge Boonstra also concurred separately to agree with Justices Thomas and Gorsuch's recent criticisms of the U.S. Supreme Court's libel jurisprudence, and which Justice White's past criticisms):

For 35 years, [Jerry] Reighard was the head women's gymnastics coach at Central Michigan University (CMU). On February 20, 2019, CMU announced that it had placed Reighard on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. No details regarding the investigation were disclosed in that announcement. However, citing confirmation by CMU's athletic director, multiple news articles reported on that date that the investigation had "nothing to do with [former gymnastics physician] Larry Nassar's case or sexual misconduct of any kind" or "Title IX."

Defendant Daniel Murphy is a reporter for defendant ESPN, Inc. In that capacity, Murphy had previously reported on issues relating to gymnastics, including coverage of Nassar's sexual abuse of gymnasts and John Geddert's reported physical and mental abuse of gymnasts…. On February 21, 2019, Murphy posted on Twitter consecutive tweets about two public announcements concerning women's gymnastics coaches in Michigan. The first tweet referred to an announcement by the Michigan attorney general:

Michigan's attorney general announced today her office is taking over an investigation of John Geddert, the 2012 Olympic team head coach and close friend of Larry Nassar. Several gymnasts have publicly abused [sic] Geddert of physically and mentally harming them.

The second tweet—which was posted within a minute of the first tweet—addressed CMU's announcement concerning Reighard:


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