Archive for the 'Sports News' Category

07
Apr
10

a hockey coach gets his way

“The coach is so respected. Your parents send you away and say, ‘Do what he says.’ At that age, you listen. That’s your first step if you want to play pro.”

Sheldon Kennedy is a former NHL hockey player. In 1996 Kennedy stepped forward with complaints of sexual abuse by his former junior level hockey coach Graham James.

His public declaration was part of a bitter and humbling journey that never seems to go away.

Kennedy told the Los Angeles Times that he “was 14 or 15 and James was 31 or 32 when the assaults began. Every Tuesday and Thursday for six years…He considered me his wife. There was absolutely nowhere for me to turn. I had no one, nobody.'”

But there were at least two others.

In 1997 James pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault.  The cases involved 100’s of incidents against two of his former players over the span of 10 years.  He was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, and the Canadian Hockey League banned him from ever coaching in Canada again.

It wasn’t until 2009 when retired hockey star Theoren Fleury confirmed allegations of abuse by James in his autobiography Playing with Fire.

Fleury writes, “The direct result of my being abused was that I became a f—ing raging, alcoholic lunatic…(James) destroyed my belief system.  The most influential adult in my life at the time was telling me that what I thought was wrong was right.”

Fleury says that he too was required to sleep over at James’ house twice a week.  But it was for more than sleep.  He says James tried to masturbate him or give him oral sex.  Fleury tried to resist but he was weakened by exhaustion and the constant threats of a ruined career.

Pegged as “James’ favourites”, Fleury recounts occasions where Kennedy and himself had to be witness to each other’s abuse.

In 1984 James coaxed them into a road trip to Disneyland where he abused Kennedy in the front seat while Fleury slept in the back.

But that wasn’t all—they stayed in motels during the trip and Kennedy and Fleury would take turns sleeping with James.

“Think about how sick that was.” Fleury writes.

Recent news that in 2007, James received a pardon from the National Parole Board has sparked up controversy.  Kennedy thinks that in light of all the attention, more victims will come forward to object.

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28
Feb
10

Owning the gold podium

Canada was critisized for it’s “Own the Podium” campaign. Some called it arrogant. Some called it down-right “un-Canadian”.

But it has not deterred Canadian athletes from practising what they preach.

Canada is still below the United States and Germany in medal counts, but we are leading in the most sought after medal of all–GOLD.

Day after day, our athletes have been pushing themselves to achieve what many have been preparing for all their lives–to earn a place on the podium at the Olympic games. There have been successes, and there have been let downs. But the biggest event is still to come.

At 3:15pm EST, the Canadian Olympic hockey team will have a second chance to do what they should’ve done a week ago–beat out team U.S.A.

Most Canadians don’t want to remember the preliminary round game against our neighbours. The nail-biting game with Brodeur taking most of the heat for the loss. Team Canada then put Luongo in net and battled their way through the Germans, the Russians and the Slovaks to earn their way back into the race for gold.

Now it is time to take our revenge.

But that’s not the only thing riding on our hockey players shoulders. We also have an Olympic record to set.

We have already broken the number of gold medals for any host country for the winter Olympics, and have tied for the most gold medals earned by any one country in the winter Olympics. The gold medal team Canada is expected to win today will break that record.

Will the Canadian hockey players walk out of the 2010 Olympics on-top of the world, or buckling under the pressure?

20
Feb
10

The Tiger comes crawling with his tail between his legs

Courtesy of Entertainment Spotlight

“I’m sorry.”

Looking squarely at the camera, those two words poured out of Tiger Woods’ mouth over and over again.  Woods held a news conference today where he delivered a 16 minute scripted apology.  The golfer admitted that he felt that the rules of marriage didn’t apply to him.  He said that because he had worked hard his whole life, he was “entitled” to his temptations.  Woods confessed that he was “deeply sorry” and he had “a lot to atone for”.

He refuted any speculation that his wife Elin assaulted him, and made it clear that there was and has never been any domestic violence in their relationship.   Tiger went on to state that Elin showed tremendous grace and poise throughout the difficult times.  With a shake of the head and a faltering voice, he continues that Elin “deserves praise, not blame.”

Yet the cause for his accident that spurred this whole ordeal remains a mystery.  Woods says that he and his wife have begun speaking about the future of their marriage, but the details of that will stay between husband and wife.

The golfer acknowledged that there have also been implications that he uses performance enhancing drugs.  To those claims, Woods answers “that is completely and utterly untrue.”

Woods let us have a glimpse of his childhood when he explains that he grew up as a Buddhist.  He recited that “Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security, and it teaches me to stop following every impulse and learn restraint.”  He said that he forgot what he was taught and that he will be looking to Buddhism for guidance.

Among his apologies, he highlighted the fact that he does have a good side.  13 years ago Tiger Woods and his father started an organization that is dedicated to “helping young people achieve their dreams through education.”  He says that despite all that has happened, his dedication will not waver.

Then Woods criticized the press for their persistent coverage of his family matters.  He said that the press shouldn’t be following his two-and- a half-year-old daughter to school and reporting the location.  Woods proclaims that despite his faults “it is right to shield my family from the public spotlight.”

This press conference did not accept questions at the end, but he did address what all the sports fans of the world really want to know.  Although he was vague about an exact date, he didn’t rule out a come-back this year.

He ended the session with hugs and a plea for help from his fans to “one day, believe in me again.”




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