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Black & Blue – By Patrick O’Sullivan NHL Retired – Courtesy of The Players Tribune

My father used to beat the shit out of me.

I don’t say that to be shocking, or to get your attention. I say that because it’s just a simple fact. He would throw punches. Not like he was hitting a small child — but like he was in a bar fight with a grown man. Whenever some people hear the phrase “child abuse,” it’s very hard for them to think about what’s really happening. They imagine discipline that gets out of hand once in a while, because it’s easier that way.

How many times have you heard someone say this?

“My parents used to give me the belt, and I turned out OK.”

So let me be really clear about what happened to me. From the moment I got my first pair of hockey skates at five years old, I got the living shit kicked out of me every single day. Every day after hockey, no matter how many goals I scored, he would hit me. The man was 6-foot-2, 250 lbs. It would start as soon as we got in the car, and sometimes right out in the parking lot.


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