BOSTON (CBS) – Retired Red Sox legend David Ortiz sent a message that went beyond baseball at the Fenway home opener on Thursday.
Big Papi was joined at the mound by Needham native and Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman. But before they said “Play ball,” Ortiz ripped off his Red Sox jersey to reveal a black t-shirt with “GIRL POWER” in big letters.
Raisman has embodied “girl power” as much as anyone this year and throughout her career. The gymnast “won even more admiration and respect with her inspiring demonstrations of courage this winter,” the Fenway Park announcer said.
Raisman, a survivor of sexual abuse, testified in court in January against former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. He was convicted of sexually assaulting young athletes and sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.
“Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force and you are nothing,” Raisman said in her testimony. “The tables have turned, Larry. We are here. We have our voices, and we are not going anywhere.”