Where was Fleury when Kennedy blew the whistle?

 

Theoren Fleury is getting lots of credit, lots of sympathy and, presumably, lots of money for baring his soul with his sordid tale of sexual abuse at the hands of his former coach Graham James.

 
 
 
 
 

Theoren Fleury is getting lots of credit, lots of sympathy and, presumably, lots of money for baring his soul with his sordid tale of sexual abuse at the hands of his former coach Graham James.

But Fleury would have commanded a lot more respect if he stepped forward in 1996 when former teammate Sheldon Kennedy was the first player to blow the whistle on James's predatory behaviour.

If he had come forward then, Fleury might not have seen his career dissolve in a haze of alcohol, drugs and other destructive behaviour.

Fleury also has to answer for placing other youngsters in harm's way. In 1994, he became a part-owner of the Calgary Hitmen and brought James into the operation as a co-owner, coach and general manager. James continued in that role for two years before Kennedy and another anonymous former player came forward.

Ovechkin among the power elite: Washington is awash with powerful people and GQ magazine lists Capitals left-winger Alex Ovechkin No. 48 on its list of the 50 most powerful people in D.C. According to GQ, the District of Columbia "loves a winner, and no local sports team these days wins nearly as often as the Caps."

David Gregory, the host of NBC's Meet the Press, is a regular at the Verizon Centre for Capitals games, while U.S. Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman show up when they can. Ovechkin even got a shout-out from Barack Obama during the president's trip to Russia this year.

Breakup causes uncertainty: The future of the Los Angeles Dodgers became a subject of speculation yesterday

after the news that owner Frank McCourt and his wife, Jamie, have separated.

"Nobody has any idea what's going to happen. You're like walking on egg shells waiting for the next thing," an unnamed Dodgers official said.

Jamie is the team's chief executive officer and the McCourts are among the most progressive owners in pro sports. While they acknowledged a separation, there has been no mention of divorce.

Social notes: The Friends of McGill Basketball are holding their annual reunion tomorrow. Tom Mooney, Butch Staples, Eddie Pomykala and Sam Wimisner are among the former coaches who will be honoured at a dinner being held at the John Molson Room at 6 p.m. Before that, former players will participate in an alumni game and then watch the current McGill men's and women's team in action during the school's annual Redbird Classic tournament. The Redmen meet the Ottawa Gee-Gees at 3 p.m. while the Martlets play Acadia at 5 p.m.

St. Mary's University of Halifax will play McGill in football tomorrow afternoon at Molson Stadium and SMU alumni are invited to warm up for the game at the Olde Orchard Tavern on Mountain St. tomorrow morning from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

phickey@thegazette.canwest.com

 
 
 
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