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Patrick O'Sullivan talks about his dad

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A really unfortunate article from O'Sullivan on the life he lived and the demons he was dealing with in the NHL.

 

http://www.theplayerstribune.com/patrick-osullivan-nhl-abuse/

 

Man, that's a powerful story.

 

I follow the Player Tribune fairly closely and I read that article last week.  This is just sad.  How in the world did his mom and other immediate family let this go on for so long?

 

Intimidation. The thought that "if I say something, he could turn on me." That sounds bad, I know - we like to think that Mom will defend her kids - but self-preservation is a pretty strong instinct, too.

 

Takes me back to high school in the 70s, where I and many classmates just sat and watched a bully beat the crap out of a younger, smaller kid in the locker room after gym class. It was brutal. A part of me said I should try to intervene or call for the gym teacher or something, but this was a goon of a senior with a reputation for beating up on those weaker than him and no compunction to restrict himself to just throwing punches (elbows to the gut, knees to the head or groin? He used them all) and I was just a skinny sophomore, so I kept my mouth shut and averted my eyes the best I could.

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I am saddened every time I hear mention of Patrick O'Sullivan.  I read the story of his childhood and all the abuse several years ago in one of my hockey books.  The chapter had a foreword by Wayne Gretzy, who had kind remarks for Pat.  For those of you unfamiliar with the circumsatnces, the abuse occurred close to home.  Winston-Salem, to be precise.  His dad was a player for the W-S Thunderbirds, a minor league team.  While in W-S, he married a local girl, Kathy, but Pat was born in Toronto while the family was visiting relatives there.

 

Pat was briefly a member of the Hurricanes in 2010.  I remember that there was a noticable increase in security staff at a game i attended.  It was because of reports that his dad was in the arena that night, but nothing happened as far as I know.  Pat's parents were divorced and his mom continued living in W-S as far as I know.

 

Such a sad story.  Breaks my heart.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_O'Sullivan

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If his Dad did this to a stranger, he would be in jail. Doing this to your own child is unpardonable.

IIRC, Patrick played in the OHL when the abuse continued.  He finally filed for and got a restraining order from a court in Toronto that prevented his dad from being within a certain radius (25 miles?) of him.  Unfortunately, the order was apparently not enforceable in the US.  His dad created a scene at the 2002 draft and other venues where Patrick was.  Yeah, he should have been sent to prison for child abuse.  But you've heard all the stories about members of the family enduring the abuse.

Edited by g105

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