SIMMONS: Sports, not just hockey, infected with sex scandals and a culture of silence

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The Nationwide Hockey League is like some insurance coverage firms. You make a declare and, with out contemplating it, they deny it. You problem the declare — they ignore it.


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You proceed to struggle, they begin to get nasty.

The NHL Gamers’ Affiliation isn’t very a lot totally different, actually. Simply ask Steve Moore, who was all however deserted after the Todd Bertuzzi incident years in the past.

You let the PA know you’ve been sexually abused by a coach, the way in which Kyle Seashore allow them to know, they usually pay you some lip service. They inform you the whole lot shall be OK after which they do what Donald Fehr and his associates did on this case: They appear the opposite manner and resume their lunch.

And, later, they apologize.

One thing Stan Bowman, ousted common supervisor, hasn’t completed. One thing former Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville hasn’t completed. One thing John McDonough, a former hero of Chicago, hasn’t completed. All a part of the lengthy record of those that regarded the opposite manner and let Kyle Seashore down in 2010.


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Stan Bowman stepped down as GM of the Chicago Blackhawks after a bombshell report said he did nothing in the wake of sex-assault allegations by former player Kyle Beach against video coach Brad Aldrich. AP PHOTO
Stan Bowman stepped down as GM of the Chicago Blackhawks after a bombshell report stated he did nothing within the wake of sex-assault allegations by former participant Kyle Seashore towards video coach Brad Aldrich. AP PHOTO

Now, with this, comes an apparent narrative, that it is a hockey downside. That is the hockey tradition at work. That is what Sheldon Kennedy — the well-spoken sufferer of Graham James, who understands this higher than anybody — says, calling it the systemic nature of silence in hockey.

In a single sentence, he’s completely right and completely fallacious.

As a result of that is all about hockey, however it’s not nearly hockey. It’s not simply in regards to the NHL’s tradition of silence and that of the remainder of the game. It’s not simply their systemic methods.

It’s virtually in all places — and that’s horribly troubling.

Choose a sport, any sport, and yow will discover your scandal. The similarities of the authority figures in virtually each case is oh so troubling. They appear the opposite manner. They hope the issue goes away. And so they proceed on with their day.


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How lengthy did it take and what number of athletes needed to come ahead earlier than anybody took the gymnastics case towards the abuser, Dr. Larry Nasser, significantly within the U.S.? The gymnastics authorities didn’t need something to do with it. Michigan State College didn’t need something to do with it.

Till, just like the Blackhawks, just like the NHL, just like the NHLPA, they’d no alternative.

Dr. Larry Nassar was convicted of numerous sex-related charges while he worked with the Team USA gymnastics squad. REUTERS
Dr. Larry Nassar was convicted of quite a few sex-related expenses whereas he labored with the Crew USA gymnastics squad. REUTERS

How lengthy did it take Penn State College to take care of the abuses of assistant coach Jerry Sandusky? How exhausting did they attempt to make that go away? Joe Paterno went to his grave as a confused previous man, however he knew what occurred on his watch.

He simply selected indifference. It was the simplest manner for him.

Simply as everybody up high with the Blackhawks selected indifference and inaction when it got here to video coach Brad Aldrich and the minor-league callup, Kyle Seashore, a part of the group of prospects referred to as the Black Aces through the 2010 playoffs.


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The thriller of the Blackhawks, on this case, is they may have handled this shortly. Aldrich was a no person. Seashore was a first-round draft decide. Seashore was an obvious asset. Aldrich wasn’t.

This could have been handled swiftly — which nonetheless wouldn’t have undone what occurred to Seashore.

However to see Aldrich’s identify on the Stanley Cup, which can possible be X’d out within the coming days, to see Aldrich on the parade, to see him in each Blackhawks celebration after the 2010 victory, even after he’d left the workforce, was simply extra pointless, merciless and insensitive punishment on the a part of the hockey membership.

That wasn’t only a tradition of silence. That was a tradition of ignorance.

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. GETTY IMAGES
Former Penn State assistant soccer coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of kid sexual abuse. GETTY IMAGES

However go searching, it appears to be far and wide, in varied sports activities and varied methods. It’s terribly disturbing. Baseball has banished Blue Jays nice Roberto Alomar, and we nonetheless don’t know precisely why. Former Mets supervisor Mickey Callaway, fired just lately by the Anaheim Angels, is presently suspended till the tip of subsequent season for his half in a laundry record of sexual-harassment allegations.

Within the NFL, quarterback Deshaun Watson isn’t enjoying due to the lengthy record of sexual-harassment allegations towards him. And there have been investigations lately and up to date days into issues in equestrian, swimming, pace skating, bobsleigh, soccer, determine skating — virtually all of them coach and athlete associated.

Sadly, it is a time when there appears to be a intercourse scandal in sports activities in all places you flip, in each sport you’ll be able to identify, not simply hockey.

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