Sheldon Kennedy accepts apology from Sask. city where he was abused in hockey

SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. -- Former NHL hockey player Sheldon Kennedy, who was sexually abused by his junior hockey coach while playing in Swift Current, says he accepts an apology from the Saskatchewan city.

See Full Article

Kennedy said it needed to happen, but he's already been long-focused on healing.

"I wasn't sitting around waiting for an apology from the city of Swift Current," Kennedy said Monday in a phone interview with The Canadian Press.

"The way I look at it is that ... Swift Current is in a position to show great leadership on how a community can take such a negative tragedy and turn it into something positive, and be leaders in our country around child protection."

Kennedy revealed 20 years ago that he was abused by Graham James, his coach with the Western Hockey League's Swift Current Broncos. James would serve 3 1/2 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to sex offences against Kennedy and two others.

Kennedy said he doesn't hold a grudge against the city. He says he tweeted "APOLOGY ACCEPTED" to let Swift Current residents know that he supports them.

"I'm with them in the journey, because you know what, the people of Swift Current don't want to see kids being abused."

Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer expressed his "sincere and absolute sorrow to the victims of Mr. James and their families."

Schafer wrote in a statement that sons were sent to Swift Current to chase their dreams and "too many players left with a lifetime of nightmares."

The city plans to launch a new initiative on Friday for community organizations. It will require a criminal background check of adults working with children, along with education on how to prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination.

Schafer said he hopes community organizations that offer youth programming will adopt the new benchmark for their staff or volunteers.

"It's simple -- if you don't want to be youth-certified, either you have something to hide or you aren't willing to invest in yourself to do a better job of dealing with kids. Parents should demand such certification from anyone volunteering or working for profit with our kids," Schafer wrote in the piece which appeared in the Globe and Mail.

Kennedy, who is now an advocate for child victims, plans to attend the announcement.

He said groups such as Hockey Canada already have similar training, but there are gaps around rules for things such as private coaches and daycares.

"What we're trying to do is fill the gap of organizations that fall under the city's umbrella and, to us, that was a place where there was really no checks and balances, so ... the city making it a priority is critical," said Kennedy.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Trump, Modi show unity between world's largest democracies

    World News CTV News
    HOUSTON -- Deafening drums marked the entrance of President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they clasped hands and walked across the stage in a packed Texas stadium Sunday, sending a message of unity between the world's two largest democracies despite trade tensions. Source
  • Trump suggests he raised Biden with Ukraine's president

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump suggested Sunday that he raised former Vice-President Joe Biden and Biden's son in a summer phone call with Ukraine's new leader, as Democrats pressed for investigations into whether Trump improperly used his office to try to dig up damaging information about a political rival. Source
  • Area 51 festival wraps up in Nevada; Earthlings head home

    World News CTV News
    HIKO, Nev. -- The festivals are over and Earthlings from around the globe headed home Sunday after a weekend camping and partying in the dusty Nevada desert and trekking to remote gates of Area 51, a formerly top-secret U.S. Source
  • Florida senators want to let Canadian snowbirds stay in state longer

    World News CTV News
    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Florida's two senators want the state's Canadian snowbirds to stay a little longer. U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott last week introduced legislation that would allow Canadian visitors to spend eight months a year in the United States, two months longer than is currently allowed. Source
  • Arab bloc in Israel endorses Benny Gantz for prime minister

    World News CBC News
    The Arab bloc in Israel's parliament broke with tradition Sunday and endorsed Blue and White party chairman Benny Gantz for prime minister, giving the former military chief an edge for the job over incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu. Source
  • A student with autism needed a quiet place to work. His desk was put in a bathroom stall

    World News CTV News
    A school district in Washington state is facing criticism for putting the desk of a student with autism in a bathroom stall after his mother said he needed a "quiet place" to do his best work. Source
  • 'Canada is terrible': Wrestling superstar handed speeding ticket in Alberta

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - A wrestling superstar is proclaiming “Canada is terrible” after she was handed a speeding ticket in Alberta. Lacey Evans, who competes with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), posted a video of the incident to her Twitter account Saturday, where it has been viewed more than 236,000 times. Source
  • 911 dispatcher tells man not to call again for 'fried chicken mishaps'

    Canada News CTV News
    A humourous 911 call has a Toronto-area police service reminding people only to call that number in emergency situations – and not when upset with sandwich toppings. Peel Regional Police released audio of the call Saturday. Source
  • Anti-radicalization program evolves to help new Canadians, socially awkward youth

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- The soft-spoken young man wasn't being recruited by neo-Nazis or the Islamic State, but he was in a downward spiral. Andy, who asked not to have his real name published, says he hit rock bottom a few years ago when he was 19. Source
  • The Gathering at Gull Island: Labrador's Innu return to the land to reclaim traditions

    Canada News CBC News
    Tenesh Nuna and Randy Jarvis are happy to be surrounded in nearby tents by more than 30 members of their family.(Alyson Samson/CBC) Every year, the Sheshatshiu Innu Nation hosts a celebration that's about disconnecting from technology and the distractions of life, and returning to the land that once supported its members' ancestors for generations. Source