The stories of the women in the #MeThey hashtag that have become the rallying cry for those who have been abused online are legion.
From the teenaged girls of the Midwest who spoke up on social media to the first female NFL player to publicly share her story.
It’s not a new trend, but it is certainly a turning point for a generation of young women who were never given a voice or a platform to speak out.
In this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated, we speak to the girl who became a legend for her courage in speaking out, the woman who turned her life around, and the young woman who is redefining her legacy.
Sports Illustrated: How did you end up on the #metoo map?
When did you decide to become a #meToo advocate?
Katie Dickey Katie Dicky: I never had any idea what #MeSheeran was.
I was just like, “Oh, I love this thing!”
I always thought, “I need to be doing this, so I should do this!”
So I started getting really into it and was just constantly sharing stories of other women that I knew were having problems.
I’m pretty self-aware in that sense.
I would like to be seen as someone that is willing to share my story, to be honest with you, and be willing to listen to people and not let my feelings get in the way of what I want to do.
SI: You’re a former high school cheerleader and gymnast.
Why is #MeItalics so important to you?
Because it is so important for young women to be heard and it is important for the rest of us as adults to understand that they can be heard.
I feel like the hashtag, the #IAMSORRY hashtag, has been incredibly helpful in giving young women a voice, and a platform for talking about their issues and the struggles that they’re facing in our society.
We know from the stories that have come out that it is not just a girls-only issue, but there is a problem with how men are treated, especially in sports.
And the people that we talk about in sports are still not getting the respect that they deserve, whether it be on the field or on social or whatever it is.
They are not getting respect because they’re a man or a girl, and that has to change.
Katie Dickie: I always wanted to do something that I wanted to be successful at and that was playing the sports that I love.
I had always dreamed of doing that for a long time, and it was always just an idea that I had, it was something I was really excited about.
And now, when I look back on it, it really does make me feel like I accomplished something in my life.
And it was a lot of fun and it made me feel happy and I feel lucky and grateful and that I’m living my dream.
SI.com: What has been your biggest accomplishment in your life?
Katie: The biggest accomplishment I’ve ever had in my lifetime was being a cheerleader at my high school, which I had really high hopes for.
I really believed that I could play on the girls team, that I would be a good cheerleader.
And that is something that has never changed for me.
I always knew that I was going to play football, and I never even thought about trying to play in college.
I just wanted to go out and do something I really wanted to try.
And when I did get to the point where I was in college, I thought, This is what I really want to pursue, and now I’m finally making it happen.
SI/Sue Ogrocki/AP Katie Dicke: I started to really think about my life and what I wanted out of it, and where I wanted my future to take me, and how I wanted it to be.
And I just really focused on football and wanted to just have fun and play football and be a cheer leader.
And then I found out that I actually could play, and then I was like, This has to be it.
That’s what I had in mind all along, and there were so many things I wanted, and all of my friends wanted to help me, but I was never going to have the support of any of my family, or any of the other girls.
SI | Getty Images: How do you feel about the fact that so many people in sports and in society do not have the same opportunities that you did growing up?
I have always been able to do whatever I want.
But there are some girls that are not able to and I’m always like, What am I going to do?
I don’t want to play sports, I don.
And they say to me, “You need to get into this sport.”
And that was never the case for me at all.
SI The Sports Illustrated cover of SportsCenter, March 16, 2020.