Sugar Ray is coming out with a biography.
Most people knew about his drug use, his tough upbringing, his domestic abuse issues and the various other interesting things in his life.
But now we are finding out that Leonard is claiming that he was abused by one of his coaches. Here are the details.
Leonard delivers the book’s bombshell, while indirectly addressing a growing concern in the sports industry at large. He reveals publicly for the first time that he was sexually abused as a young fighter by an unnamed “prominent Olympic boxing coach.”
Leonard writes that when the coach accompanied him as a 15-year-old and another young fighter to a boxing event in Utica, N.Y., in 1971, he had the teenagers take a bath in a tub of hot water and Epsom salts while he sat on the other side of the bathroom. They suspected “something a bit inappropriate” was occurring but did not want to question a strong male authority figure.
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.”
That is some powerful stuff. I wonder why he isn’t including the name of the coach that allegedly abused him. Maybe he is deceased, but if he is still alive it is possible he has done it to other kids.
Regardless if you believe Leonard or not, these type of things do happen. Especially with young athletes and their coaches. It is something that parents really need to watch to make sure their child isn’t being taken advantage of.