Theoren Fleury Opens Up on Graham James

GoucheCorrespondent IOctober 10, 2009

Some shocking news was made public on Friday concerning former professional hockey player Theoren Fleury. This 41 year-old who recently called it quits after being cut from the Calgary Flames in training camp revealed in a book to be released this week that he was sexually abused by his former junior coach Graham James. Fleury who played for the Flames, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks in a 15 year up and down NHL career reveals all the details in his soon to be released book called ‘Playing With Fire.’ This 5 foot 6 winger who won a Stanley Cup with the Flames as a rookie in 1986 and was a member of the Canadian Olympic Gold Medal Team in 2002 was a teammate in junior with another former pro in Sheldon Kennedy who about a decade ago also went public about being sexually abused by Graham. Kennedy wasn’t surprised that Fleury who 16 was also a victim of Graham. “I’m glad that he’s admitting what’s gone on in his life and now I think it’s about that daily quest of dealing with it and understanding that he doesn’t have to live in the craziness and the shame and the guilt that abuse puts on one,” Kennedy who went public with his story in 1996 and was instrumental in James going to jail for 3.5 years said. “I know how difficult it’s going to be for him. Disclosing the past is never easy, especially in a public manner. I hope Theoren takes care of himself through all this because it is going to be hard, whether he likes it or admits it or not. It will be hard.” Fleury has revealed that he would like to do the same thing that Kennedy currently does in helping kids who were sexually abused victims. During his career Fleury battled various demons such as alcohol abuse and was suspended in 2003 by the league for violating his aftercare program. Last week some excerpts of his new book dealing with the relationship between Fleury and James were printed on the MacLean’s Magazine Website. “(James) destroyed my belief system,” read the excerpt. “The most influential adult in my life at the time was telling me that what I thought was wrong was right. I no longer had faith in myself or my own judgment. And when you come down to it, that’s all a person has. Once it’s gone, how do you get it back?” “Graham was on me once or twice a week for the next two years. An absolute nightmare, every day of my life.” Coming forward and talking about this past nightmare is hopefully a big step towards recovery for Fleury who has overcome alcoholism. 29Sports.com hopes that by including this nightmare in his book that it will help him find peace within his life.


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