AROUND THE LEAGUE: WEEK THREE

The game many of us grew up playing or watching will once again have to face one of its deepest and darkest secrets now that Graham James is back in Canada. This time around, I hope the hockey world embraces the victims and sets the stage for other victims to come forward because the hockey world will support them too.

THE ARREST

Early Wednesday morning at the Pearson International airport in Toronto, James, the convicted sex offender and former WHL coach and Hockey News man of the year, was arrested by members of the Winnipeg Police Service. On October 13th, Winnipeg police issued a warrant for James’ arrest in connection with charges of sexual assault and other life-ruining acts involving three complainants, one of which is former NHLer Theo Fleury.

When the warrant was originally issued I wondered if James would have the guts to “Man Up“ and do the right thing. He was living in Mexico and had he chose to stay there it would have taken years to extradite him back to Canada. He could have remained in hiding and never faced the music, which based on his past history is what I thought he would do. I applaud him for returning to Canada to face his charges and finally doing the right thing.

Sexual assualt or abuse is still very much a taboo topic in society and maybe even more in hockey. Hockey, and in fact most sports, have always tried to maintain an image of toughness filled with lots of bravado and machismo. Showing weakness was, and sometimes still is, frowned upon. Unfortunately history shows that in hockey and in real life turning a blind eye to allegations or rumours of sexual abuse is the norm.

In 1996, James was arrested and charged with sexual assault against two minors. Former NHLer, Sheldon Kennedy was one of them while the other chose to remain anonymous. James plead guilty in 1997 and was sentanced to three and a half years in jail.At the time of his conviction he admitted to over 350 sexual encounters with the boys.

In 2009, it was revealed that two years earlier James was actually quietly given a pardon by the Justice System. I don’t want to focus on how someone could have allowed that to happen, but the Federal Government has since said it would crack down on pardons to avoid similar situations.

The James case will re-open wounds for the victims, but unfortunately many of us prefer not to hear or read about. When James was charged in 1996 many people around him didn’t believe it. They thought James, who used to be a teacher, was a great guy.

I wonder if some choose not to believe it, because they’d rather just not deal with it?

It must be very disappointing that many Canadians don’t want to deal with this type of abuse and are more apt to look the other way,  And yet the victims, who have already suffered tremendously are forced to find the strength and courage to face their demons head on and in this case in front of the media spotlight.

THEO FLEURY

Theo Fleury has recently released a best selling book about his abuse at the hands of James and has become a spokesperson for sexual abuse.

I had Fleury on my show and asked him to explain why it took him so long to finally be able to talk about his past.

"I really needed to be ready to do this so it would have the biggest impact. I don’t think it was in people’s best interest to see a guy in front of reporters or talking about it in documentaries who was still broken and still breaking down and upset about what happened to him in his life. I needed to be a position of strength. I needed to be in a position where I had taken back my own power, and I think the honesty in which the book was presented reflected that."

Unfortunately many in the public don’t want to hear about sexual abuse cases. We all too often turn a blind eye and the statistics show that there are severe consequences for the victims who come forward – especially males and especially in sports.

All too often people make insensitive comments like, "If he didn’t like it he would have stopped it," without thinking that no one in their right mind would want to have their innocence and soul taken away. This not only discourages victims of sexual abuse to come forward, but it also creates a culture of secrecy that allows predators like Graham James to continue to commit their horrific crimes.

I have never been assaulted, so I can’t truly understand how it would impact one’s life and what they must go through on a day to day basis afterwards. I have however talked with many who have. The saddest part is that in most cases the reaction they receive when the unveil what happened is just as hurtful and damaging as the original abuse.

THE IMPACT ON HOCKEY

It goes without saying that hockey is more than just our national pastime here in Canada.

I don’t think there is anything that unifies our nation more than our love of the sport, and that is why the hockey world needs to be front and centre in the James case. Fleury told me that during many of his book signings, many males would come up to him say thank you and then lean in close and whisper to him, "I’ve been there too man."

How has Fleury’s life changed now that he has come forward?

"I’m now a very strong advocate for sexual abuse and sexual violence. There are lots of kids out there who, on a daily basis, are victims to pedophiles that we don’t know about. I truly believe that this subject is the biggest epidemic we have on the planet. For years no one wanted to talk about and the trickle down effect that is has on people who have mental illnesses or post tramatic stress disorder is alarming. I think homelessness is a direct by product of abuse and prisons are full of guys who are angry and resentful and they want to get back at society. It is a bigger thing than people can imagine.

"I’m very comfortable now to stand out in front and try to make a difference and challenge the people in Ottawa who make the laws and the judicial system and even you guys in the media.  Nine times out of ten, most media guys don’t go after the perpetrator they always go after the weaker, innoncent victims of sexual abuse because it is easier. And that just reflects how completely backwards and upside down the system is.

"Now I don’t care what people think about me or feel about me. Through my process I found out who I am as a person and I’ve found strength, courage and hope. I’ve realized that when I was uncomfortable at any point in my life, if I had just walked through the fear that there would be huge growth in me. 

"Anybody who is thinking about going through this process I encourage them to do it, because I am such a better person today than I ever was at any other point in my life. Yes there were times when it was difficult and hard, but my entire life has been that way, so it’s a matter of facing the challenges and making sure you have the support of family and friends."

A TRAGEDY IN 1986

As I looked into the Graham James case, I came across an incredible article by Gare Joyce.  It was written in 2006, and talked about the connection surrounding the 20-year anniversary of the Swift Current Broncos bus crash that killed Trent Kresse, Scott Kruger, Chris Mantyka and Brent Ruff and along with it Graham James’ original court case.

James was the coach when the Broncos’ bus crashed on December 30th, 1986.

Joyce wrote how a small community turned its back on the victims of crash and those who suffered at the hands of James.

There were other lingering questions in Swift Current, questions about the man who coached the Broncos to their championship. Scott Kruger was just the first to air his doubts about Graham James’ sexual orientation. Over the years, the Broncos’ coach was subject to taunts from opponents and crowds across the WHL. And sometimes James’ players were targeted, too. They heard chants of "Graham’s bumboy."

Sheldon Kennedy had been the first of the Broncos to hear the chants. He left Swift Current after the championship season and made it to the NHL, first with Detroit, later with Boston. Kennedy had been a promising junior but a disappointment as a pro — he battled injuries and substance abuse. NHL teammates thought it strange that his coach in Swift Current stayed in contact with him and remained unusually involved in his life.

After years of whispers and innuendo, James was arrested in 1996 and charged with sexual assault against minors. Two Swift Current players would testify against him: Kennedy and another whose name is protected by a court order. Kennedy would reveal a pattern of abuse that started when he played for James in age-group hockey in Winnipeg and stretched through his time with the Broncos. And, as Kennedy would describe it, the abuse seemed to be almost in plain sight. It happened in his parents’ home, even with his parents in another room. It happened in Centennial Civic Centre, when other people were around the arena. It happened in James’ home in Swift Current, when he was supposed to be doing homework with the coach and would show up at his billets’ home drunk and incoherent at 5 a.m.

THE RIFT IN SOCIETY

And here lies the fault line that runs through the community.

On one side you have people like Fanner Kruger. "I hate him," she says of James. "I could kill him. It takes a lot of the joy out of what that team did in their championship season. Poor Sheldon. I always wondered what was wrong with him. I knew that he drank a lot when he was with the Broncos. I should have asked questions. Scott saw a red flag and others must have seen it, too."

Fanner knew about the taunts on the ice. She isn’t alone in asking, "What if I had done something?"

But on the other side of the fault line, there are those who claim to have been blindsided by the charges against James and his subsequent conviction. The conventional wisdom in hockey holds that no one knows a team better than the trainer — a trainer moves freely between the coach’s office and the dressing room and is the confidant of all. Yet Hahn says he was shocked when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police laid charges against James: "I never saw it coming, I didn’t see any warning signs at all, and I was around the team more than anybody."

Says Costello: "Graham was different ways with different people. With reporters, he always had time to talk and always tried to help out. He was a very bright man and he was aware how the media could keep his image as an educator."

Like Hahn and Costello, many people in Swift say that they never imagined the coach’s sordid secrets. None of them knew Kennedy better than Frank and Colleen McBain. Kennedy and Sakic were the McBains’ boarders, yet the couple says there wasn’t a hint of trouble. More than that, the McBains still insist that James did many good things. Colleen McBain, who was a guidance counselor at the Swift Current high school, praises James for his work with the team after the bus crash. "Graham did a great job with the boys after the accident," she says. "He conducted himself admirably. He was very strong … professional."

Even in retrospect, the McBains can’t see anything strategic or sinister in James’ brushing off psychological counseling for the players after the deaths of their four teammates. When it’s suggested to them that perhaps James was slamming that door to protect his awful secrets, the McBains say that he was simply following the players’ wishes. "The boys wanted it that way," Frank McBain says.

None of this surprises Sheldon Kennedy. The way he sees it, nothing much has changed over the years.

"The idea that Graham James got us through the bus crash is insulting," Kennedy says. "We didn’t rally around him. The players rallied. He had nothing to do with it. And he kept the professional help from the team because he didn’t want anyone to know he was a sexual predator — keeping out professional help was his idea, not the players’. The idea of keeping the dressing-room door closed came from him.

I urge you to read the entire article here.

A PERSONAL LINK

I have a personal connection to the tragic crash in 1986. My older brother, Colin, and Brent Ruff were best friends. They played minor hockey together and both of them tried out for the under-17 Team Pacific in 1986. They both thought the other one was the better player.
 
My brother made Team Pacific while Ruff was one of the final cuts. The tournament was played over Christmas that year, and my brother felt  very guilty that he made the team and not Ruff. He felt if Ruff had made the team he wouldn’t have been on the bus that fateful day. When I read Joyce’s article I learned a lot about the crash and the after affects that I was unaware of, which proves that even when we are close to a situation there are still some scenarios that can surprise us.
 
When you read Joyce’s piece about the crash and how James didn’t allow the kids to speak to a professional so they could properly grieve, it reinforces how many of us revere and trust the decision makers in hockey more than we should at times.
 
Most of us don’t know how to deal with death properly,  and clearly many of us don’t know how to properly deal with sexual abuse and the victims. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn.I think all of us in the hockey world need to pay attention to the new charges against James, because we shouldn’t want another young boy/man to endure something similar.
 
It is clear there are substantially more positive role model coaches and management-types in the hockey world than there is men similar to James, but to think that James was an isolated incident is naive. Sometimes we want to blindly trust those in positions of power, especially in hockey when many of us are blinded about the possibilities of stardom.

RAY FERRARO

Former NHLer and current TSN analyst, Ray Ferraro starred as a junior, scoring 108 goals and 192 points one year in Brandon and his son Landon started with the Red Deer Rebels and now plays for Everett in the WHL. Ferraro has experienced the WHL as a player and now a parent, and I asked him what advice he would give to parents who were sending their sons away to follow their hockey dream.
 
"Number one is, pay attention. Pay attention to where your son is going and who he is going to live with and who is going to coach him. My dad didn’t know anything about hockey and when I went away to Penticton, the first play I moved away, he came with me. He met my billets, he met the coach. At the time I didn’t realize it, but he was doing his research. He wanted to know where I was living, what did my bedroom look like, where was the sleeping quarters for the rest of the house, what was the policy on the road regarding how many kids stayed in a room and who looked after the kids on the road.
 
"You don’t have to be a hockey parent; you just have to be a parent. I know that some parents just send their boy away and assume the team is going to take care of their kid. A great onus for the protection of the player is on the team, but at that same time it has to be on the parent. You can’t obsolve everything and say ‘I thought they (the team) were looking after it.’ Whether the kid lives in your house or someone else’s house he is still your son and you still have to make sure you have an idea of where he is, where he goes and what is the team policy.
 
"Don’t assume, ask. This is your kid and that is the most important thing"
 
It is the responsibility of parents, billets, friends and all of us involved in the game we love to look out for each other and especially the kids.
 
Often people use the term hero or role model when describing hockey players, and in certain cases that is fine, but I think it is time for the culture of hockey, and all of us involved in it, to step to the forefront in fighting sexual abuse.
 
We have yet to accept it, or deal with it properly, in society, but considering most Canadians have some connection to hockey why don’t we take a stand. We need to openly support the victims, report the perpetrators and not turn our back or ostracize those who have been assaulted.
 
Hopefully Fleury and the other two complainants will see justice, our legal system will punish James properly and the hockey world will wake up and realize it is time we took a stand against sexual assault or abuse inside the game we call ours. 
  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Seriously if he was already charged with over 350 encounters with the first 2, how much jail time should we expect out of 2 more? It’s not like this is a repeat offender or anything. I know what he did was bad, but it’s as if now it’s worse then back in 1997.

  • Markus

    I think that until he takes a bath with a toaster or eats a shotgun James should not be applauded for anything.

    Guys like him are the worst because they can compartmentalize their emotions & give an appearance of a wholesome person in different company, when in fact they are in fact monsters ala Russell Williams

    In a perfect world he would not be allowed to see the light of day. He stole from his victims their innocence & has ruined their lives. Sexually & emotionally they are forever messed up; even with the best of help. Sheldon Kennedy & Theo Fleury are courageous people to stand up & tell their stories.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    A thoughtful post Mr. Gregor. I have one issue, with this quote:

    “In 2009, it was revealed that two years earlier James was actually quietly given a pardon by the Justice System. I don’t want to focus on how someone could have allowed that to happen, but the Federal Government has since said it would crack down on pardons to avoid similar situations.”

    I’ve heard a lot about cracking down on pardons due to people who we don’t like getting them. I’m sorry, but James did his time and has (until he is convicted again) paid his debt to society. I know a couple of really good people who committed acts of indiscretion (not of the horrible type that James did). They paid their debt to society, and a pardon is how we let them move on with their lives.

    If a crime is reprehensible (which James’ obviously was), we should talk about longer and more severe sentences. But once those sentences have been served, the criminal pardon system must be allowed to kick in.

    It’s the only way to empower people to rehabilitate and change their ways.

    That all said, I hope that they throw the book at Graham James.

    • Jason Gregor

      People can rehabilitate themselves, but why should they be pardoned for ever? They can go back to travelling freely? Why? I politely disagree.

      I’m all for rehabilitating people, but if they lose the freedom to travel for the rest of their live, I think that is fair for all the damage they caused.

      They can still live a fruitful live in Canada, without getting the luxury to jet off to new countries. Do you think those countries are aware of their shaddy past, and some go so they can re-offend where no one knows them. Not ideal in my mind.

  • Markus

    Seeing his face makes my skin crawl.

    I was unfortunate enough to be in the same room as him. I was having a smoke meat sandwich at Schwartz’s in Montreal when I saw him walking out.

    I lost my appetite and then lost it on him screaming at him inside & then outside on St Laurent. People looked at me like I was a freak. I said “are you people knowledgeable about hockey or just friggen HAB fans!?! That was that diddler Graham James!”

  • Dan the Man

    “You don’t have to be a hockey parent; you just have to be a parent.”
    -Ferraro

    Powerful message that should be heard and followed by all parents. Parents want the best for their children, which is a great thing, however they can never forget their main goal of parenting. Great article Gregor! An ugly side of hockey that nobody likes discussion, but a topic that NEEDS to be discussed.

  • I know for an absolute fact that there are hockey parents today that would let James have there kids for a shot at the show.(for themselves). For all the good this game brings to this country it is also one of the most revealing platforms for human/parental failings we have.

    Vicariously living through their kids to quell some sickness that lives inside them brings out an element of abuse that honestly approaches James himself. But I digress… anyone who spends considerable time in any level of canadian minor hockey knows exactly of what I speak.

  • OttawaOilFan

    This is such a tragic and heartbreaking story especially for the guys that suffered the abuse. My thoughts are with them.

    In regards to James’, a buddy of mine is from Sask. and his close friend was a GM of a team in Sask that Jame’s coached. My buddies’ buddy always had an ill uneasy feeling about James and he ended up canning him and he was backlashed in the community and from the Team’s board of directors for letting go “of such a special coach”.

    I applaud my buddie’s friend for standing up and doing what he felt was right when his gut was telling him something.

    Have a good Friday everyone and a good weekend!!

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    P.S – if any of you middle aged oldster’s out there are thinking of heading out anywhere this weekend or whenever I will heartily recommend On The Rocks (i see they are sponsoring us now, so props to them).

    I went out there a couple of Fridays ago. I am 37 and my buddies were all middle 40’s. We had a fricken blast! And the crowd was perfect for us as it isn’t a teeny bopper hang out and the band was rocking great 70’s 80’s tunes and the bar got packed.

    Also, (we ended up closin the place down) I was happy with the Bouncers and the Staff at OTR. They didn’t take themselves too seriously and there was a great vibe in the place. It was my first time “clubbin” in a few years and I had a great time.

    So hat tip to Jason for suggesting OTR on his radio show and now I see that ON is bumpin them as well. Good times!!

  • Jason Gregor

    Jason –

    The pardon is more important for work purposes than it is for the purposes of travelling. Countries can decide for themselves what they’re going to ask when you seek entry. They don’t have to accept a pardon or anything like that. The Americans, for example, will typically ask if you’ve been arrested.

    A pardon doesn’t have a ton to do with international travel, unless a country is relying on a criminal record search to prove that you’ve got a clean record.

    • Jason Gregor

      Fair point. But should someone who commits the type of crime James did be pardoned?

      I’m all for giving people second chances, but they also should have to live with the consequences of their actions, and if some employer won’t hire them because of it, that is their fault.

      I know lots of employers who give people convicts a second chance, but they would like to know up front what they are dealing with.

      And a serious question for you. If a guy gets a pardon and is at the airport and they ask if he was arrested and he said no, would the pardon erase the arrest, or would it still show up? I’ve never been arrested so I don’t know, but would the pardon affect a person’s record via airport? Just curious if you know.

      • Dan the Man

        And a serious question for you. If a guy gets a pardon and is at the airport and they ask if he was arrested and he said no, would the pardon erase the arrest, or would it still show up? I’ve never been arrested so I don’t know, but would the pardon affect a person’s record via airport? Just curious if you know.
        ——————————–

        Jason – I called the government after hearing of a Canadian that had crossed the border hundreds of times and then one day was denied entry. As I was informed, the pardon from the Canadian Government does not hold much water at the US Border.

        It is completely up to the Customs Agent whether he/she decides that you can enter the US.

        I have crossed the border hundreds of times without trouble since my ‘mistake’ in 1974 but I now carry my passport, my nexus card and a copy of my pardon but still that may not be enough. The Feds told me to contact the Department of Homeland Security and get a letter from them….haven’t got around to that yet.

  • OttawaOilFan

    I’m all for giving people second chances, but they also should have to live with the consequences of their actions, and if some employer won’t hire them because of it, that is their fault.

    I know lots of employers who give people convicts a second chance, but they would like to know up front what they are dealing with.

    Well, reasonable people can disagree on this, I suppose. When the James thing first flared up, I took a look for some academic research on the very question you’re referring to, whether people are, generally speaking, able to set aside the conviction issue. One of the papers I came across said this:

    The evidence suggests that employers discriminate against ex-offenders in the labour market.
    The problem is potentially serious as it involves a substantial proportion of the population, especially the male population. Since research has shown that most people with prior convictions stop offending by their late 20s or early 30s, the validity of selection based on criminal record remains questionable.

    The consequences of excluding ex-offenders from the job market are serious, not only for them but for the potential victims of crime.
    Employment discrimination against ex-offenders
    reduces their attachment to the labour force,
    leaving them few options but to continue committing crime (Auletta, 1983). Crutchfield and Pitchford (1997, p. 93) found, in their longitudinal study of 12,000 youths, that “time out of the labour force is positively related to criminal involvement and that when workers expect their current employment to be of longer duration, they are less likely to engage in crime.” Jobs provide not only a much needed income, but also extra-economic benefits such as “social status, an interpersonal context, and psychologically
    rewarding activities” important to the development and maintenance of social and mental wellbeing (Liker, 1982, p. 264). The evidence suggests that most ex-offenders want to turn over a new leaf and see employment as a key ingredient in going ‘straight’ and gaining respectability (Irwin, 1970; Liker, 1982; Meisenhelder, 1977).

    Ex-offenders denied employment opportunities
    are more likely to feel depressed and become
    entrapped in a “vicious cycle of self-defeating
    behaviours” which may involve re-engaging in
    illegitimate activities (Liker, 1982, p. 282). It is not surprising that research links the more frequent incidence and longer duration of unemployment to higher rates of recidivism (Rossi et 242 Helen Lam and Mark Harcourt
    al., 1980) and longer criminal ‘careers’ (Britt, 1997; Carmichael, 2000; Raphael and Winter- Ebmer, 1998; Uggen, 2000; Witte and Tauchen, 1994).
    From a public policy perspective, re-integrating ex-offenders into society has other benefits as well. For instance, it reduces the law enforcement costs of police, courts, and prisons and the social welfare costs of income support.

    Re-integrated ex-offenders not only cease to be
    a major drain on public resources, they also
    become productive contributors to the community
    and to the economy. Their re-integration
    also promises to alleviate labour shortages in low unemployment regions, expanding potential
    output and reducing inflationary pressures
    (Minehan, 1997).

    If the recidivism risk is low, I’m not sure that employers should, necessarily, have a right to know about past conduct. James’ case is a bit special because of the sexual aspect of it but the pardon that he got wouldn’t apply for any jobs in which he’d be working with vulnerable people.

    In any event, we as a society have a lot of reasons to want ex-convicts to be able to re-integrate into society and the work force. It’s one thing if, by doing so, we’re exposing unsuspecting people to an unacceptable level of risk but if the risk is low, then I’m not so sure that we do want that information being made available to employers.

    Ironically, James might be the guy in Canadian history who has benefitted least from a pardon. I’m sure that part of the reason he was living and working in Mexico is that he’s unemployable in Canada because of his notoriety. A pardon can’t take that away.

    • Jason Gregor

      I guess what I would like to them consider certain crimes much differently. I know it will be hard to determine what is more serious, because some will think assault is just as bad as sexual assualt. But it is sad that James would get a pardon for what he did.

  • Dan the Man

    Greg wrote:

    Ironic. Everyone is in a uproar about young boys being sexually violated (rightfully so), but no one has an issue with putting young girls in skimpy outfits in front of thousands of people to be oggled. How is that not also sexually violating a human being?

    That sounds like a comparison to me and Bar Qu agreed with it.

    If your only point was to point out the classless comment calling for ice girls that was a strange way of phrasing it.

  • Maggie the Monkey

    As a parent of a decent Bantam aged player I see the collective will of parents, coaches and minor hockey to continually push toward optimum development paths to create the best possible system and best possible hockey players. Part of this system requires boys to be put into situations which are not ideal for protecting the kids from this type of thng. Whether it be Junior hockey or other high level teams in their teenaged years. Hockey is not alone, but our obsession to try get our kids to the next level opens us up to all kinds of problems, this is just one. My kid will never play Midget AAA or Junior, not because he’s not good enough, but because i just dont think its a healthy way to grow up.

    • Jason Gregor

      Dave,

      It is your choice to make that decision, but there are far more positive stories and learning experiences than negative ones.

      To suggest it is unhealthy was to grow up is a large sweeping statement that doesn’t illustrate the entire truth. The majority of kids who play midget AAA and higher never make it, but they can have many positive experiences along the way. Most have way more positive life learning experiences than negative ones.

      Many coaches teach good life experiences. Not all, but most.

  • Jason Gregor

    Boy you can’t fool me…i picked up on the cryptic sarcasm and i applaud you …it’s much better than your first approach with all the name calling Jason. You’re right, I DO pay close attention. but tell me sir…the characterized word F*%K or it’s cousin motherf%$ker…have these words been sanctioned and deemed swearing here? If it isn’t swearing tell me why those words in disguise are used along with a plethora of other ‘swears’ that have their letters reversed and symbols inserted to get around the no swearing rule limply enforced here on a regular basis. Surely there must be a pardon of sorts with first offenders [me] when they omit a symbol from a bad word.

    Secondly, along with swearing you say that you delete comments that include “disparaging remarks”. Just so we’re clear here Jason, the word ‘disparage’ in my world is defined as: to bring reproach upon someone…but furthermore, and here’s where you apply your craft as a hybrid MSM writer radio type…to belittle or insult someone.

    here’s what YOU have written about me here to date with regard to my dissidence…if i’m no more important than any other poster here then why do i appear to be so in your gun sights with these belittling insulting comments?

    “…it allows everyone to see just how clueless you are…”

    “…your ignorance continues to shine through…”

    “…You just don’t seem to be able to grasp simple concepts…”

    …”Again, is it that hard to figure out…”

    “…Are you ignorant enough not to see the irony of it? …”

    all your words

    and here’s what citizen Rob posted when he came to your defense with his brand of feckless disparaging remarks…with some vague reference to YouTube comments i should make.

    “…That’s the true troll playground…”HUH? he droned on to me about “…you weren’t the only one to comment on the use of the word ‘applaud’…” good ‘ol Rob was bang on about me not being the only one…because i was the first one.(getting over myself here sorry)…
    but you didn’t go off on Rob did you Jason?…not even when he said ‘he never thought you [of all people] would have “sympathy” for James’. where Rob got that from I have no idea, not me…so the dictatorship[not my word your word] works for some but not for others, that’s cool

    Therefore, I could call you a cyber hypocrite no? I’ve guessed that you are an ego maniac… you’ve said here “…you applauded James for finally…blahblahblah”… it’s too dictatorial a concept for you to be let off the [my] hook…again your way or no way…it’s lame and i still vehemently take exception and you still claim “I’m not wrong” …it’s a good thing you invited me to disagree all i want so i’m going to…ThankYou.
    If that’s your final disappointing answer and you will not admit that it was, at the very least the wrong choice of words or even a sketchy thought process…may i suggest then

    … you somehow get a telephone interview with Graham James and say to Graham James on the air, at the top of the first segment of any Jason Gregor Show on The Team 1260…say to him
    “I applaud you for coming back to Canada to face these charges”.

    Think of the ratings Jason!

    • Rob...

      “but you didn’t go off on Rob did you Jason?…not even when he said ‘he never thought you [of all people] would have “sympathy” for James’.”

      I never said anything even close to that. Seek psychological help, troll.

      Edit: Your incorrect use of quotes to identify my statement as being word for word and your creative, and ridiculously incorrect, interpretation is really sad. No wonder I couldn’t recognize the text you attempted to quote as my own.

    • Jason Gregor

      Your insistance to keep bringing up the same point, showed you didn’t understand the simple concept and didn’t get that in the picture James was deemed Man Of The Year. Many in the hockey world were fooled by the guy. You clearly didn’t get it. That isn’t my fault.

      Now if you want to rant, go ahead, but you don’t manage the site, so certain comments will be deleted. Yours weren’t the first, and won’t be the last. And if you don’t like how the site works, you don’t have to partake. That is your choice.

      Your posts were deleted, because you kept rambling on and demanding we take down the picture, because you couldn’t look it, complete with swearing and then having the asinine point of comparing taking down your comments to Nazi Germany. Comparing killing millions of people to deleting a post is pretty accurate isn’t it?

      You act like the site should appease your demands. Sorry it doesn’t work that way. I’m done debating with you. You didn’t like the article or my choice of the word applaud. Fine. 99% of the people understood, and appreciated what I meant. The article was 3000 words and you think one line was the focus. That seems like you can only focus on one thing and not see the entire framework. Sad.