It has been the most enduring — and troubling — question in the sickening saga of Graham James right from the beginning: did hockey’s most notorious pedophile really act alone?
No accomplices? No enablers? No one covering up for him? No other hockey coaches just like him sexually abusing the young players in their charges?
No one else? Really?
That’s the narrative Canadian hockey authorities would certainly like all of us to believe: “move along, folks… nothing more to see here. And, don’t forget to stop by the box office on your way out.”
But it’s also almost certainly nonsense, as we were all reminded once again this week with new and spiralling abuse scandals from the worlds of soccer and gymnastics strongly suggesting that if James was truly a lone wolf, both he and the institution (religion?) of Canadian hockey are unique in the world of sport.
It is hard to believe that James was the only one committing sexual abuse in Canada’s junior hockey leagues. After what we have seen with UK youth soccer, and US gymnastics, let alone many other youth sports, it’s very, very hard to reach that conclusion.
And if it wasn’t just him, is it still going on today?