Reuters is reporting that former boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard has said that he was sexually abused as a teenager by a "prominent" Olympic coach, according to a report in the New York Times on Tuesday. The newspaper said that Leonard made the claim in his upcoming autobiography, The Big Fight: My Life in and Out of the Ring.
Leonard, now 55, said he was assaulted by the unnamed coach on two occasions. The first was when he was competing at a tournament in Utica, N.Y, at age 15. The second, several years later, happened in a car parked in a deserted lot when the coach was discussing with him his prospects at the 1976 Olympics.
Leonard, who won the gold medal in the light-welterwight division at the Montreal Olympics, said that he had been haunted by the ordeal for years but decided to reveal it in his book in the hopes that he would help his own healing process.
"I realized I would never be free unless I revealed the whole truth, no matter how much it hurt," he wrote.
It is a good thing that prominent celebrities like Sugar Ray Leonard are coming forward to discuss sexual abuse. This is one of the toughest fighters of all time who was victimized at a young age by someone in a position of authority. Black men are often tagged with hypermasculine notions of masculinity that would require silence about incidents of sexual abuse carried out by men. We're glad that brave folks like Don Lemon and Sugar Ray Leonard are coming forward to speak truth to the fact that black men can be victimized, too.
Read more at Yahoo.
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