Nunavut’s Jordin Tootoo: Nashville Predators Forward a Role Model for Overcoming Adversity

Via Scoop.itNunavut

The year 2011 has seen a lot of tragedies in the hockey world, as Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak have all lost their lives after battling tragic circumstances such as drug addiction or depression… [excerpt] However, through all of the mourning and debating how the NHL can prevent such problems in the future, a bright spot has emerged in Nashville Predators forward Jordin Tootoo. In December of 2010, Tootoo voluntarily entered the NHL Player’s Association Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program, looking to overcome a strong opponent in alcoholism. He first developed the disease in 2002 when his brother, Terence, committed suicide in the wake of a drunk-driving arrest. According to a CBC interview with his mother, Rose, last year, Tootoo had been unable to deal with his problem and could not talk about it with his family. However, voluntarily entering rehab was a brave step for Tootoo, and it only solidified his status as a role model in his Nunavut community. Rose Tootoo said: “I’m not worried at all, I’m so happy that he’s decided to do what he’s done, and on his own. We’re extremely proud of him…everybody’s telling us he’s an inspiration.” Jordin Tootoo stayed in rehab for a month and was released in January of 2011. He was allowed to practice with the Predators while undergoing outpatient treatment. Upon re-joining the team, he also earned the support of Nashville general manager David Poile, who told Fox Sports: Nobody’s perfect. We all have different issues in our life. I think that it just reached you know a situation where he was becoming more difficult and obviously a distraction to others in our organization. The point is, this is the important point, is that Jordin got it and Jordin did it and he knows he’s better off for it today. […] While Tootoo’s hockey brothers who could not beat their demons will always be missed, it is comforting to know that he is one of the ones who overcame what was keeping him down. His commitment to staying clean and his community involvement should make him a role model to NHL fans young and old. To learn more about Team Tootoo or to make a donation, visit the website of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.


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