This story is just hard to report. 97.1 the Ticket’s Will Burchfield reports that former Red Wings defenseman and hockey analyst Aaron Ward has revealed that he was one of the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of University of Michigan athletic physician Dr. Robert Anderson, who abused hundreds of victims:
Ward shared his experience in an interview with TSN 690 in Montreal in recognition of Bell Let’s Talk Day in Canada, a campaign aimed at fighting the stigmas surrounding mental illness.
Ward, who played hockey at Michigan from 1990-93 and later spent seven seasons with the Red Wings as part of a 15-year NHL career, said the abuse he suffered from Dr. Anderson contributed to a gambling addiction that plagued him for years.
“When I was in college and I was 17 and 18, I was sexually abused by a doctor who was at the University of Michigan who’s currently publicly under investigation,” said Ward, later confirming Dr. Anderson’s identity. “Listen, I was married 20 years and my ex-wife did not know that, not an ounce of that. But you come to a place of realizing that when you finally let go of these things and when you share with people, whether you deem them embarrassing, whether you can’t come to grips with the reality, if you take the chance and you verbalize it, you can quickly find out that people can either kind of relate to what you’re going through or they can just be there (for you).
“So as I admit that on radio, that I was sexually abused by a doctor in a professional environment at the University of Michigan and suppressed it forever, it is liberating as you drop these things from your conscience. I spent, since I was 17 years old when that happened, trying to figure out why I gambled since I was 17. That’s not the only reason, but it’s a contributing factor.”