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Columnist: Fleury was an “enabler” of sexual abuser

Theoren Fleury

Former NHL player Theoren Fleury talks about the Graham James case during a news conference in Calgary, Alberta on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. Former junior hockey coach and convicted sex offender James has pleaded guilty to sexual assaults involving two of his former players, including Fleury. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Larry MacDougal)


The Montreal Gazette’s Pat Hickey might’ve just bought himself a whole bunch of grief.

In a column titled “Theo Fleury hypocritical for blasting justice system’s handling of Graham James case,” Hickey takes dead aim at Fleury for failing to speak up sooner about being sexually abused by James.

Specifically, Hickey accuses Fleury of staying silent while both Fleury and James were co-owners of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen.

Here was someone who had suffered abuse at the hands of Graham James. Here was someone who knew that James had abused other players. Here was someone who was exposing other children to the same sexual predator.

Fleury has been through enough counselling to know there’s a word for someone who acts in this fashion - enabler.

Hickey’s putting himself out there with this opinion. Blaming the victim in a sexual abuse case can be a perilous path for a columnist to take. Hope he’s prepared for the blowback.