So it begs the question, is John Leonard just giving us all the finger? After all, this is the same guy who has proudly displayed Paul Bergen and Mitch Ivey in a photo album on the same site. He seems to celebrate defiantly the coaching careers of men who have come into disrepute as of late. I don't know why Leonard continues to keep those coaches in the album. If I had to guess, it would be because he doesn't believe the charges that have been leveled against them. He probably believes he has enough gray area to celebrate Bergen and Ivey. I certainly don't.
In Woodward's case, Leonard either has to be totally ignorant of what has happened with Woodward, or totally defiant. I'm not sure which is worse. Woodward's arrest was well publicized, and if the leader of the biggest swim coaches organization in the country didn't know about it, that is a serious problem. If he knew and decided to go ahead with it anyway, that's a bigger problem.
In order for swimming to get better, we need a massive change in our culture surrounding abuse. That's extremely hard when the power players, John Leonard as exhibit A, don't seem to understand or even recognize the problem. Leonard had no problem getting on his high horse to save us all from "the suits". He had no problem railing on FINA for not involving "coaches" (him or his friends) vote in FINA. But when it came to children being abused by their coaches, Leonard has been totally silent. What kind of leadership is that? Worse yet, Leonard seems to act with impunity from USA Swimming, who despite whatever they say, have a mutually lucrative partnership surrounding coach certification with ASCA that they aren't willing to put before this issue.
As if the workout wasn't offensive enough, it's accompanied by a photo of children with American flags that indicates to me this was some sort of 9/11 tribute (9x1100 is the set). I'm sure that in some way Leonard believes that putting kids through what is an absolutely terrible swim practice is a fitting tribute to all those affected by the worst day in recent American history. Could he be more out of touch?