CHICAGO (CBS) — Following the recent fallout involving the Chicago Blackhawks, a former player, who also is a survivor of sexual abuse, is focusing on helping victims.
CBS 2’s Asal Rezaei reports.READ MORE: Chicagoan David Kronfeld Shares Advice To Career Success In New Book
Theo Fleury played with the NHL for 15 years and ended his career at the United Center as a Chicago Blackhawk.
He believes this scandal was preventable and should have never happened in the first place.
“They made mistakes at every turn”
These days, Theo Fleury is an advocate and activist for trauma, mental health, and addiction.
In his early hockey days, the unthinkable happened to Fleury.
“I’m a sexual abuse survivor. When I was, like from 14 to 16, I was raped by a coach 150 times over two-and-a-half-year period.READ MORE: At Least 24 People Wounded, 1 Killed In Weekend Shootings In Chicago
Fleury say he’s worked through that trauma for years and is now helping other sexual abuse survivors.
Watching the sex scandal within the Blackhawks organization unfold, Fleury says the issue is how it was handled from the get-go.
“I understand why they did it because they were on a run going to the Stanley Cup final and that would have been a huge distraction, but they should have removed that gentleman from access to the player immediately,” he said.
And Fleury hopes the league as a whole will learn from the Blackhawks investigation.
“The NHL has an opportunity right now to become a leader in this space, and put in protocols.”
Creating a safe space for players, Fleury says, is how they can prevent sexual abuse from happening in the first place.
“If we put in, you know, roadblocks, as many roadblocks as possible and we educate, you know, society on what to look for. I think we can significantly decrease you know, the amount of incidents that do happen.”MORE NEWS: 1 Person In Critical Condition, 8 Displaced After Fire In Aurora
Fleury also said he doesn’t think this is necessarily an issue within the hockey community, he says it’s a systematic societal problem.