Connect with us

Sports

'Like looking through a mirror': Greg Gilhooly talks Kyle Beach revelation as John Doe in Blackhawks lawsuit – The Globe and Mail

Published

 on


Greg Gilhooly in 2018 published his own account of years of abuse, I Am Nobody: Confronting the Sexually Abusive Coach Who Stole My Life.The Canadian Press

“It was like looking through a mirror at what I went through years ago,” Greg Gilhooly says. “It was soul-destroying watching him there just dripping with such pain.”

Gilhooly was among the millions who have now watched the interview between TSN’s Rick Westhead and onetime top hockey prospect Kyle Beach, in which Beach identified himself as the John Doe of a lawsuit that claims the Chicago Blackhawks management failed to take action after he told them he had been sexually assaulted by one of the coaches.

“I buried this for 10 years, 11 years,” Beach told Westhead, “and it’s destroyed me from the inside out.”

Gilhooly knows the feeling. Once a rising young goaltender in Winnipeg and today an Ontario lawyer, the 57-year-old is still in therapy over what hockey coach Graham James did to him some four decades back. James was eventually convicted of his crimes against several players, including future stars Theo Fleury and Sheldon Kennedy, and served time in jail. Gilhooly originally told his story to The Globe and Mail, and in 2018 published his own account of those years of abuse, I Am Nobody: Confronting the Sexually Abusive Coach Who Stole My Life.

Reactions to Blackhawks scandal pour in from across the sports world

Blackhawks brand could take hit without proper response to sex assault allegation

The John Doe lawsuit led the Blackhawks to commission an outside investigation and the 107-page report on the issue could not have been more damning. In it, Beach says that video coach Brad Aldrich threatened him with a baseball bat, telling him, “If you don’t lay down and act like you enjoy it, I’ll make sure you never play in the NHL or walk again.”

Beach, then a 20-year-old desperate for a professional hockey career, did as he was told. He said the coach then told him, “You can’t tell anyone about this; it is our little secret; no one can find out or I will make sure you never play in the NHL.”

Beach did, however, reveal that “little secret” to mental-skills coach Jim Gary, who took it to a meeting that included, among others, Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman, then assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and then head coach Joel Quenneville.

Nothing, however, was done. The Blackhawks were in the playoffs and this claim was seen as a distraction. Three weeks later, Chicago had won the Stanley Cup. Aldrich was in the parade, his name would be etched on the trophy – though likely soon to be removed.

“It made me feel like nothing,” Beach said to watch all this unfold. He never played a game in the NHL. Now 31, he is playing out his career in Germany.

Aldrich did leave the team that summer, but not before Quenneville praised him for “a great job” in a job assessment. Aldrich moved on to coach a high-school team in Michigan, where he was later charged and convicted of sexually assaulting a young player.

The fallout from all this? The NHL has fined the Blackhawks US$2-million. Bowman and others in management lost their jobs, as did Quenneville, who had moved on to coach the Florida Panthers. On Friday, Cheveldayoff met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and it was decided, as Cheveldayoff was not a member of the senior leadership team in 2010, he “should not be subject to discipline.”

Cheveldayoff released a statement through the Jets expressing “my support of and empathy for Kyle Beach and all he has had to endure since 2010.”

Beach had also approached his union, the NHL Players’ Association, about the incident and, again, nothing was done. The union has since apologized. “There is no doubt that the system failed to support him in his time of need,” said NHLPA head Donald Fehr, “and we are part of that system.”

Gilhooly believes that not only does the system need an overhaul, but the whole culture of hockey needs to change. He says the reason so very few speak out about abuse is because of the intense homophobia that is rampant not just in the NHL but in hockey from the minor leagues to the beer leagues. Homophobic slurs are not only hurled in anger, he says, but in dressing-room banter.

“There are people who use words without knowing or thinking about the underlying meaning,” Gilhooly believes, “and there are people who use those same words with meaning. The difference is as with manslaughter and murder. Either way, you’re going to jail for a long time. We hold out hope that the first group can be rehabilitated, while we walk in fear of ever having to deal with the second.”

Gilhooly believes the culture can change. “It’s about education,” he says. “You only learn to ski and skate by falling down. We have to have a world where you can make a mistake, learn from it, and move on.

“The league is sending the right message – you can’t just sit around and do nothing.” Gilhooly was younger than Beach when he met with his abuser James. He was only 14 when James made contact with him, telling him and his family that he was scouting for talent.

“I would call it ‘trolling,’ not scouting,” Gilhooly says.

He scoffs at those who wonder why the young, fit and much larger Beach didn’t just overpower the small video coach. Gilhooly says these people simply do not understand the power a coach can hold over a young player desperate to succeed.

“I’m 6-foot-7,” he says, “I was big and fit and I could have ended it with one punch. I didn’t. Maybe I should have…

“Maybe that’s why I’m still in therapy…”

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Italy, Portugal drawn in same bracket for World Cup qualifying playoffs – CBC.ca

Published

 on


The World Cup in Qatar is sure to be without either Italy or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Italy and Portugal, the current and previous European champions, were drawn into the same qualifying playoff bracket Friday, meaning at least one will fail to qualify for next year’s tournament.

Italy will first face North Macedonia at home in a playoff semifinal next March, and the winner will play away at either Portugal or Turkey for a spot at the World Cup.

Four-time champion Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, missing the tournament for the first time since 1958 after losing in the playoffs to Sweden. Now, after winning Euro 2020 in July, it may have to beat Euro 2016 champion Portugal to avoid a second straight failure.

“It’s not a great draw and it could have gone better,” Italy coach Roberto Mancini acknowledged. “Just like we wanted to avoid Portugal, they would have wanted to avoid Italy.”

Ronaldo has led Portugal to every World Cup since 2006 and this could be his last attempt at winning international soccer’s biggest trophy. He will turn 37 before next year’s tournament starts.

Ronaldo helped Portugal get through the playoffs for the 2014 World Cup, scoring a hat trick in a 3-2 win over Sweden that featured an epic duel between superstars, with Zlatan Ibrahimović netting twice for the Swedes.

“It’s not worth thinking about (Italy),” Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. “It’s important that we concentrate on beating Turkey.”

Italy’s forward Federico Chiesa (L) challenges Switzerland’s defender Ricardo Rodriguez during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification Group C football match between Italy and Switzerland on November 12, 2021 at the Olympic stadium in Rome. (Akberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images)

Other matchups

Also in the 12-team draw, Scotland will face Ukraine at home, and the winner will play at Wales or Austria in the final of their bracket.

Russia will host Poland for the right to face Sweden or the Czech Republic in their bracket final. Russia or Poland will host the final.

Scotland looks to end a 24-year wait to play at the World Cup while Wales’ only appearance was in 1958.

“At the moment, the way the team is playing, the confidence the boys have got, we would be happy to play anyone, anywhere,” said Scotland coach Steve Clarke, whose team has won six straight since September.

However, Ukraine won at Hampden Park in June, in the Euro 2020 round of 16 against Sweden, and went unbeaten through a World Cup qualifying group won by France.

Scotland players celebrate as they leave the pitch after the FIFA World Cup 2022 Group F qualification football match between Scotland and Denmark at Hampden Park in Glasgow on November 15, 2021. (Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images)

Sweden will not have Ibrahimović for its semifinal against the Czechs. The 40-year-old forward has a one-game ban for getting yellow cards in the qualifying group.

“We already did it last time (in 2018) and we of course (know) that we can do it again,” said Sweden coach Janne Andersson.

The six playoff semifinals will be played as single-leg games March 24. The three finals are played five days later.

The three winners will complete Europe’s entry of 13 nations in the 32-team lineup in Qatar.

FIFA will make the tournament draw on April 1 in Doha.

The European playoffs feature the 10 teams who finished second in their qualifying groups along with two teams — Austria and the Czechs — who won Nations League groups last year.

Also, FIFA said Qatar will host the intercontinental playoff in June that will decide the last two qualifiers for the tournament.

Intercontinental draw

The intercontinental draw paired the team from Asia against the team from South America, and a team from North American region CONCACAF against Oceania’s representative.

Those qualifying campaigns are still being played.

The winners of the two single-leg games on June 13-14 will complete the 32-team World Cup lineup.

The intercontinental playoff was originally scheduled for March 2022 as two-leg, home and away series. The games were pushed back as the global qualifying program stalled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Canadiens @ Sabres Top Six Minutes: Just send Norlinder home already – Habs Eyes on the Prize

Published

 on


For our new readers and members, the Top Six Minutes is a continuation of the discussion in the game thread. We try to keep it light and entertaining. Full recaps are up the morning after every game.

  • Olofsson, Dahlin, Lehkonen, and Norlinder – Go Frölunda!

First Period

  • Thompson scores, from a Lehkonen turnover in Montreals zone, followed by some defence miscues. Here we go, again…
  • Montembeault with a brain fart, he has to scramble to make a fantastic save to keep the score at one down.
  • Post – Girgensons almost scores out of nothing.
  • Josh Andersson scores! Game is tied at one.
  • Toffoli goes down, but controls the puck and gets a good shot off.
  • Armia, then Caufield with giveaways in their own end.

Second Period

  • The Second period has started, not sure Montreal knows that. They barely get out of their own zone.
  • Olofsson gets in all alone on Montembeault, who somehow saves without knowing where the puck is.
  • It’s all Buffalo.
  • Dvorak with a sneaky move, Tokarski saves it after some initial problems.
  • Petry joins the attack, good moves, but drops the puck. Three-on-two the other way and Eakin makes it 2-1 Sabres.
  • Double power kill for Montreal.
  • Okposo gets like 15 chances, and scores on one of them. 3-1, blue.
  • Dvorak into the boards, awkwardly getting up.
  • … and a penalty to Montreal. Savard to the sin-bin.
  • Montreal kills off that penalty.
  • Norlinder TOI after the second period – 5:55. Montreal, and Marc Bergevin, seems to see it as a weakness to send him back to SHL.

Third Period

  • Gallagher-Evans-Lehkonen kickstarts the third period. No goal but a really good shift.
  • Almost Dvorak.
  • 4-1, Thompson.
  • Another break for Buffalo, Montembeault saves.
  • Chaos, utterly chaos in their own end.
  • This is a team without any confidence; no-one, absolutely no-one wants the puck on their stick.

EOTP 3 Stars

3) Someone has to win that game

2) You can’t say the Canadiens’ special teams haven’t been productive this season

1) One of the players is going to let this slip some night

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

One of Italy or Portugal will miss World Cup after qualifying draw – Sportsnet.ca

Published

 on


ZURICH — European champion Italy and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal were drawn in the same World Cup qualifying playoffs bracket Friday, meaning at least one of them will miss next year’s tournament in Qatar.

Italy will face North Macedonia at home in a playoff semifinal next March, and the winner will play away at either Portugal or Turkey for a spot in the World Cup.

Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup — losing in the playoffs to Sweden — and now will likely have to beat Ronaldo and Portugal to avoid missing the tournament for a second straight time. Portugal has always qualified during Ronaldo’s career. He first played at the 2006 World Cup.

Also in the 12-team draw, Scotland will face Ukraine at home, and the winner will play at Wales or Austria in the final of their bracket.

Russia will host Poland for the right to face Sweden or the Czech Republic in their bracket final. Russia or Poland will host the final.

The six playoff semifinals will be played as single-leg elimination games March 24. The three finals are played five days later.

The three winners will complete Europe’s entry of 13 nations in the 32-team lineup in Qatar.

FIFA will make the tournament draw on April 1 in Doha.

The playoffs feature the 10 teams who finished second in their qualifying groups along with two teams — Austria and the Czechs — who won Nations League groups last year.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending