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Laveranues says the abuse caused him to act out at school. His grades began to suffer and he was overwhelmed by feelings of rage. "I just really never cared about anything," says Laveranues. "I was just always angry. … wondering, 'why is this happening to me?'"

In eighth grade, Laveranues discovered that his stepfather had started a rumor among his friends at school that he was gay. When Laveranues found out that one of his closest friends had helped his stepfather spread the rumor, he became violently angry. "I grabbed [the friend] and went after him pretty bad. … I was so furious."

The police officer called to the scene sensed that something more than mere adolescent angst had caused Laveranues's outburst. After intense questioning, Laveranues finally confessed his secret. "From there," he says, "everything unraveled."
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FROM: A Pro Football Player's Secret Shame
Published on October 18, 2005

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