Former NBA All-Star Kenny Anderson says he was sexually abused as a child
Former NBA All-Star Kenny Anderson told SB Nation that he was sexually abused twice as a child, including once by a person in the basketball coaching community.
SB Nation’s David Roth addresses Anderson’s life, career and decision to speak out in finely written form:
Kenny Anderson will say it: he was sexually abused, in two separate instances and by two separate monsters, during a multiply harrowing early life that he will also tell you about. That life — ungoverned by a mother too addicted and conflicted to be much of a parent, then ungovernable by dint of the heavy freedom his talent for the game gave to him — did not prepare him for any kind of life but the one he’d suffered through. It bruised and broke him, as of course it would. It helped make him a person he no longer likes much, or much resembles. He wants to talk about it now, all of it.
When Anderson sat down to talk about all this, he had just finished a cruise with his wife, which they’d taken in part to prepare for what is happening now, and will happen next. This is not the sort of thing that gets said just once, and Anderson — whose career was not what it could have been, by his own weary admission, but which was still what it was — will now have to talk about it and talk about it and talk about it, after decades of not.
This kind of public acknowledgement is an incredibly challenging step for anyone to take, much less a former professional athlete who has stayed relatively private since retiring in 2006. In a video interview with SB Nation’s Matt Ufford, Anderson — who recently began opening up about his personal life while starring in an off-Broadway play and says he has an autobiography due next March — feels his way through the very raw process of expressing this long-hidden and long-painful part of his life. Anderson, 42, the second pick in the 1991 draft, said he felt compelled to come forward in an attempt to make a difference in the lives of others who have suffered like he has.
“The bottom line,” Anderson said in the video interview, “if I could help somebody and they see Kenny Anderson got molested and he’s talking about it, now people are going to come out and maybe be able to tell their story. I wasn’t going to do it, but the trigger went off for me and it just had to be done.”
Here’s more from that interview: