Sugar Ray Leonard Says He Was Sexually Abused

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A few days after CNN’s Don Lemon admitted to being sexually abused as a child, news reports about Sugar Ray Leonard’s sexual abuse at the hands of a coach are surfacing. Leonard was sexually abused by his coach, the boxer reveals in an upcoming memoir “Big Fight.”

At age 15, Leonard and another teenage fighter were instructed to take a bath together while the coach watched; a few years later, he sat with the coach in a car in an empty parking lot.
“Before I knew it, he had unzipped my pants and put his hand, then mouth, on an area that has haunted me for life. I didn’t scream. I didn’t look at him. I just opened the door and ran,” Leonard writes.

This is the second time this week in which a high-profile celebrity has admitted to being sexually abused. In his new book, “Transparent,” CNN anchor Don Lemon says he was sexually abused. Movie director Tyler Perry has also talked publicly about being sexually abused and that he tried to commit suicide. Gospel singer and pastor Donnie McClurkin has also admitted to being sexually abused. The biggest story in the black church last year were allegations of sexual abuse by Bishop Eddie Long. The embattled pastor will likely settle.

In black popular culture, we’ve just begun tackling sexual abuse of girls thanks to movies such as Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls” and the 2009 movie “Precious.” Often these movies are viewed as demonizing black men. Remember the uproar of “The Color Purple” which also addressed sexual abuse? Leonard and Lemon’s announcement will hopefully shine a much needed light on the sexual abuse happening to our black boys who like our too many of our black girls also suffer in silence.

Lemon, Leonard and Long will soon fade from the headlines, but the young boys who wake up every day wearing their shame and their fear as armor will likely take their place if we don’t address the abuse inflicted upon too many of our black children.

Newsone contributed to this article.

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