Saturday, 12 November 2011

Remembering Others

It's hard to fathom exactly what has gone on for so long at Penn State University. This was a place of higher learning, a place where kids were sent to exceed and excel. This was where some of the greatest minds and athletes honed their abilities to make the world a better and more exciting place. The tragedy that went on behind closed doors at the PSU football program, however, makes my stomach churn, and I really hope that a lot of the people who weren't man enough to step forward to put an end to the horrors that were happening get what is certainly coming to them.

I wasn't going to comment on this event because I really have zero interest in college football and the larger-than-life NCAA. Don't get me wrong when I say that I love NCAA hockey, but the vast majority of hockey programs as NCAA colleges and universities hardly receive the funding and support that the football programs do. And while I understand that football in America makes oodles and oodles of cash for these institutions, this has also allowed the tail to wag the dog when it comes to schools becoming "football factories".

Back to the topic at hand, I found that the details in the PSU scandal really started to sound a lot like the Graham James case in Swift Current. James, as you know, has been charged with sexually abusing junior hockey players, most notably Theoren Fleury and Sheldon Kennedy.

Sheldon Kennedy appeared on CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront on Thursday evening, and his words are powerful. Mr. Kennedy gives an excellent interview, and credit must be given to Miss Burnett for tackling this difficult subject with someone who was a victim in this sort of crime.

I want to say that HBIC is entirely behind the victims, and I support anyone who wants to step forward as a victim. The only way this sort of abuse will end is to have the victims speak out and encourage others to speak out as well. The stigma and the myth that this is embarrassing for the victims is false, and this stigma is allowing others to be caught in abusive situations.

As Sheldon Kennedy stated in the interview, children have to report this sort of abuse to seven adults before anything is done about it. As revered as Joe Paterno was at Penn State, he was one of the adults and he did nothing to report this to the proper authorities. I'm sorry to all those Penn State worshippers out there, but JoePa was part of the problem, not part of the solution. Flame me if you want, but there is no gray area when it comes to abuse, especially this kind of abuse.

Readers, if you know of anything like this happening to someone you know, it's your duty to step forward and report it. For the sake of everyone involved, this sort of stuff cannot be condoned through silence. For everyone involved in the Penn State scandal, I truly hope you can find peace one day, and HBIC will gladly stand beside the victims as they cope with these horrific events.

Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Fleury have shown strength and courage in stepping forward, and I would hope that they serve as excellent ambassadors to help others in their struggles with abuse.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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