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Coles speaks out for 1st time, abused as a child.

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Coles speaks out for 1st time, abused as a child.

Postby Guttpuppy » Mon Sep 19, 2005 4:45 pm

Sad, maybe this will help some poor kid get the courage to speak out against his/her abuser.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Laveranues Coles held a dark secret that caused him nightmares for many years, one he never told any of his New York Jets teammates.

The Pro Bowl wide receiver thought he was alone in his inner struggles, and too proud to let any outsiders into his personal prison. But Coles recently decided to free himself of his secret: He was sexually abused as a young boy by his stepfather.

"I haven't talked about it in ... forever, but I know that holding something like that inside has been a burden for so long," Coles said Sunday after helping the Jets beat Miami 17-7. "For me to get on this platform that I have, having been in the league and have all the media attention that we have, I think it's something that should be said.

"If it gets one kid to come out and say, `Look, this is happening to me,' ... I think it's right."

In a story first reported by The New York Times, Coles acknowledged he was molested from ages 10-13 while growing up in Jacksonville, Fla., by the man his mother later married.

He was only in sixth grade when the incidents started, but Coles kept it to himself. When a fight in school two years later prompted the police to question his violent behavior, Coles came out with the revelation.

"It still bothers you," Coles said. "I mean, there's certain things that you really don't want to deal with, you don't want to remember. But I had my peace with it. It's something that's not happening anymore. I used to wake up in the middle of the night and think about it, but now I'm fine."

According to the Times, Coles' stepfather, whose name the receiver didn't want to reveal, was sentenced to nine years in a Florida prison in 1992 after pleading guilty to the infractions. He served 3½ years, but was later convicted of another crime and has been in prison since 2001.

Coles' mother, Sirretta, divorced her husband when the abuse was first revealed and sought counseling for the youngster. Coles realizes that coming out with this now publicly will reopen old wounds for the family.

"We'll talk about it," Coles said. "I love my mom and we love each other and we'll talk about it briefly and put it behind us again."

Coles doesn't worry about what others might think or say about what he went through. He's proven himself to be a star on the football field, now in his sixth NFL season -- and second stint with the Jets after spending the last two years with Washington.

"I think with age comes maturity, and I think now that I'm a little older, I think I can deal with it a little better and I just want to help kids because I think it happens to more people in this world than actually allow ourselves to believe," Coles said. "Coming up, I always felt like I was the only one that ever happened to. Then, when I started going to different sessions, they let me know that it happens to a lot more people."
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Postby Dr. Duran Duran » Mon Sep 19, 2005 4:47 pm

I read this in USA Today this morning. Very courageous of him to come out and talk about his experiences. I'm sure it will help some people out with their own unfortunate experiences dealing with abuse. Thumbs waaaay up for Coles. ;-D
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Postby 34=Sweetness » Mon Sep 19, 2005 4:47 pm

I thought my friend was joking when he told me this... 8-o
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Postby Atog » Mon Sep 19, 2005 4:50 pm

A great move by Coles. The greatest problem with such crimes is that the victims often don't tell anyone, and Laveranues is taking a huge step foreward as an example for others ;-D
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Postby Wesley Walker » Mon Sep 19, 2005 5:05 pm

I really like it when big shot professional athletes come out with this sort of real life stuff and make people stop and think. As an NFL player, Coles has the ability to impact people who might otherwise not be interested in hearing about such a thing.

The Jets rule, by the way.
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Postby Teh Jury » Mon Sep 19, 2005 5:48 pm

Wesley Walker wrote:I really like it when big shot professional athletes come out with this sort of real life stuff and make people stop and think. As an NFL player, Coles has the ability to impact people who might otherwise not be interested in hearing about such a thing.

The Jets rule, by the way.


I was with you all the way... until that last statement :-D
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Postby Red Stripe » Mon Sep 19, 2005 5:52 pm

Teh Jury wrote:
Wesley Walker wrote:I really like it when big shot professional athletes come out with this sort of real life stuff and make people stop and think. As an NFL player, Coles has the ability to impact people who might otherwise not be interested in hearing about such a thing.

The Jets rule, by the way.


I was with you all the way... until that last statement :-D


Hmmmmm I was with him the WHOLE way. :-D

That was courageous of Coles to come out about that, glad to have a guy like that on the Jets.
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Postby A2theIzzo » Mon Sep 19, 2005 6:10 pm

This will really help Kids who are getting abused now to come out.
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Postby schnuelle07 » Mon Sep 19, 2005 6:15 pm

To Coles - ;-D ;-D ;-D
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Postby ScreamingWeasel » Mon Sep 19, 2005 8:02 pm

I'm sorry.
I saw this with my cup of coffee this morning on ESPN.com
and just had to say:
"this is waaay more than I need to know"

Maybe it's just me.
Maybe it's my Southern upbringing.
But maybe it's just information overload.
And some things should remain private.

That's my take, anyway.
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