I don't know much about sports or celebrities but I do know the name Sugar Ray. I also know far too much about sexual abuse by trusted authority figures. I start threads day in and day out about childhood sexual abuse committed by teachers, clergy, therapists, scout leaders.....and coaches.

I am so impressed and thankful that Mr. Leonard has chosen to share his private story. No telling how many men and boys will feel the strength to come forward about their nasty secrets. My prayers are with him as he navigates the rocky road of "going public".


Sugar Ray Leonard claims in book that boxing coach sexually abused him

"Sugar Ray Leonard has an autobiography coming out, and he certainly doesn’t waste any time with the literary rope-a-dope. In The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring, to be published next month by Viking, Leonard writes about his cocaine use, on nearly drowning in a swimming accident, growing up with domestic violence, surviving a car wreck, and then this:

Several years later, Leonard describes sitting in a car in a deserted parking lot across from a recreation center, listening intently as the same coach, said to be in his late 40s, explained how much a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics would mean to his future. He was flattered, filled with hope, as any young athlete would be. But he writes: “Before I knew it, he had unzipped my pants and put his hand, then mouth, on an area that has haunted me for life. I didn’t scream. I didn’t look at him. I just opened the door and ran.”

He adds that when he first decided to discuss the incident in the book, which is co-authored with Michael Arkush, he offered a version in which the abuser stopped before there was actual contact. “That was painful enough,” Leonard writes. “But last year, after watching the actor Todd Bridges bare his soul on Oprah’s show about how he was sexually abused as a kid, I realized I would never be free unless I revealed the whole truth, no matter how much it hurt.....”

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