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Response to Former Canadian National Team Coach Bruce Twamley

Coach Bruce Twamley

1. Below is an email response sent to Bruce Twamley former Canadian national men's soccer team coach from an email received which was honourable and appreciated.

2. The transparency here is for further understanding on the circumstance. Improving and reconciling the stigma of substance issues is possible when such interaction takes place.

3. The response has been edited slightly to make the read smoother and more informative. Using a small cell phone to compose writing's is cumbersome especially when Auto-Correct kicks in, which is far too often. Apologies for ongoing errors.

4. A video will NOT be released on Friday as previously stated.

5. A video will arrive at a time when most emaciated.

6. Starvation while a painful destabilising process is not mental illness. Rather it takes a blend of courage, determination, resilience and a certain amount of know how.

7. With consideration of the truth, commonsense and morality the oppressors should have considered that if ever there was/is an issue which requires integrity and swift resolution it is one which centers around mental disability. The alternative approach and deliberate delay has been reckless and cruel of which the hypocrisy surrounding the upcoming mental health week in Canada is a thousand miles deep.


May 4, 2020

Thank you Bruce very much.

Hope you are doing well with your life.

You write well. Succinct and powerful. Appreciate your thoughts and suggestions. And of course they are merited.

I find through ongoing interactions, opportunities arise to give a perspective others may not have considered on an issue so important.

On that note.

"however you chose to fight for social justice"

It is similar to a person saying,

"well he chose to use the substance - it's his fault".

Of course both sentences in words can be considered correct. In context of individual uniqueness however, the reality is much more complex and nuanced. Therefore, often statements thoughts on the issue are misleading which can contribute to stigma, oppression, human rights infringement and ostracism.

Both thoughts when taken as literal can let the oppressors and society off the hook for any inappropriate actions.

The reality is, I should not have had to take a different path.if York University abided by employment law and not committed to blatant discrimination, poor treatment, lack of support and then coverup of the truth.

Irrespective of what happened I tried to get on with life through a series of paths throughout this process.

When you fight the system it gets harder to recover from as the colluded actions of others - the media support the establishment. - add to the injustices and so you end up further criminalised.

Living the rest of my life poor and marginalized with a wasted soccer career was unacceptable to me. Once paralyzing self stigma was penetrated I proceeded in a manner which was honourable and with considerable restraint under the circumstances.

York University in 2012 however did not take the same approach in spite of their knowledge of the law and their unlawfulness. An egregious disgraceful abuse of power. Fighting social justice was therefore "forced rather than desirous". Tried at every turn to resolve the matter. Did not want to expose anyone. Rather I just wanted to get on with my life as harmed as it was.

To not understand the limitations exposed persons have to experience and endure is not to have lived in their shoes.


I chose to use a potent substance. It is categorically a choice. At the outset however, it was an impaired choice achieved through inebriation. An important distinction many experience. What a person does not choose is being susceptible to returning and developing a disorder which by definition is itself an impairment That is what a mental health condition is, impaired "thought disorders", learned behaviours filling a psychological gap/need.

The fighting social justice process has been like coaching. A jigsaw puzzle. Using tactics and a strategy. And adapting to an ever changing environment. Navigating dragons. Using your emotions effectively whether visually or with writing. Not to be fake but authentic.

My outage and anger is real, warranted and also necessary to confront what needed to be confronted. I do not enjoy the process of confronting but it has exposed as "an exercise" just how significant and damaging the social construct of stigma really is. The learning curve has been significant for many.

Meanwhile the whole judicial process has been fraught with egregious impropriety and therefore the matter extends beyond the health issue. It cross-paths with the ethical behaviour of lawyers, organisations, the governing body of football, the media, politicians and the system as a whole It also highlights the remarkable poignant disparities between Canadian social classes.

You should be aware that Canada is notorious for not correcting social injustices to the point former health and welfare minister Monique Begin was quoted in 2010 to paraphrase,

"We now have incontrovertible social science evidence that social injustices are killing Canadians on a grand scale"

Have lived the reality the honourable minister references and implies. Overall, the issues go beyond one segmented subculture of Canadian society.

Meanwhile, supporters cannot feel the outrage PJJ feels because of the conditioned stigma of the health issue. I could say I am disappointed at their choice not to be more vocal and angry particularly with Canadian politicians which would have made a difference. But I do not because I understand where the apathy and stigma comes from. The expectation would be too great and so my outrage represents many thousands perhaps millions of others who do not have a similar platform or investment of a decade.

The completion of a publicised book as you suggest is clearly a given but not for this moment to end the matter or to further the fight. The fight should have ended a decade ago, five years ago or at a bare minimum in 2017. It is straightforward for the system to do so now.

Also, I have been down the road of writing a narrative already, albeit in e-book form. No guarantees with anything using that as the path forward. And it will not change things. It would cater to stigma to do so because that is what we expect of citizens like PJJ. As Canadians it is the way we all too often think. We are too forgiving.

A comprehensive written account will be the eventual byproduct of the end of the matter when justice is served. When the Supreme Court of Canada correct the issue. That will change things. It is the way it should be. The right way round. And through the ruling the masses will understand and appreciate that persons with substance use disorders/disabilities are human beings with the same needs of all other citizens who are afforded the human right of equality and fairness. We currently are not.

The matter has turned more complex than it ever needed to be because of York University's decision not to act responsibly, ethically and morally.

Thank you again Bruce for the communication. You are a good person to have taken the time and care. My thoughts on you as a coach are not only sincere they are merited and justifiably correct. You were one the best international soccer coaches Canada has ever had. The facts do not lie.

Take good care of yourself Bruce and thank you again.



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