Kyle Beach, the ex-player for the Chicago Blackhawks, has been identified as John Doe. He filed a lawsuit against them for mishandling the sexual assault allegations.
Beach, who is now 31 years old and plays professionally in Germany, spoke out in an emotional interview with TSN Wednesday. He said he felt "relief" and "vindication" and that he didn't feel "my word against anybody else's".
The Blackhawks commissioned Jenner & Block to investigate. It was made public Tuesday. After Beach's report that Brad Aldrich had sexually assaulted, and harassed, him as the Blackhawks' video coach in 2010, the report by Jenner & Block concluded that "nothing" was done by Blackhawks senior leadership.
Beach stated, "[Tuesday] it was an emotional day." "I cried, smiled, laughed, and cried more. My girlfriend and me didn't know how we felt, nor how to think.
Beach claimed that he had "buried this" secret for eleven years and it "destroyed me from the inside." Beach also stated that he believed everyone in the Blackhawks' locker room knew what Aldrich was doing, and that word spread quickly.
Beach stated that the comments Beach made were not made in the locker room but were made on the ice. He also said that they were made with players, staff and media present.
Beach is known in the NHL as a "Black Ace", a minor-league player who was called up to the parent team for postseason play. He also used practices. Beach stated that Paul Vincent, a former Blackhawks coach of skill, was the first person to whom he spoke about the incident. Beach spoke to Vincent in San Jose, during the 2010 playoffs. He told him that Aldrich had sexually assaulted him.
Vincent reported the incident to the Blackhawks' front office. They eventually allowed Aldrich to remain with the team during the Stanley Cup run, and even gave Aldrich a day with Stanley Cup before he resigned. Beach told TSN that he felt sick when Aldrich was allowed to stay with the team.
Beach stated, "I reported it and I was made aware it made it all through the chain of command by Doc James Gary and nothing happened." It was almost like he was living the same life as the day before. Every day was the same. It was amazing to witness him being paraded around with the Cup in his hands, and at the celebrations.
It made me feel that I wasn't there. It made me feel that I wasn’t important, and it made me feel wrong. Doc Gary also said that I was responsible for putting myself in this situation. These and his being paraded around, then letting he take the Stanley Cup to high school with kids after he knew what had happened.
The Blackhawks released a statement moments after the interview was broadcast.
"First, let us acknowledge and commend Kyle Beach for his courage in speaking up. The Chicago Blackhawks would like to express our deepest regrets to Kyle Beach for his actions and the failure of the organization to respond to his courageously bringing this matter to our attention in 2010. The Blackhawks' then-executives failed to take action on the allegations of sexual misconduct. It was unacceptable. The team stated that protecting our staff and players from predatory behavior is paramount in any playoff or championship.
"The Blackhawks have made many changes to their organization. They hired a new leadership team, which is dedicated to winning championships and adhering to the highest ethical and professional standards.
Vincent was called "an incredible man" by Beach, who said that he didn't know how to express his appreciation. He did everything he could back then. He stood firm and spoke the truth when it was made public.
Beach, however, recalled how difficult it had been for him in the days that followed his conversation with Vincent. He could see that Vincent's allegations weren't being taken seriously by the team.
Beach stated, "To be truthful, I was afraid most of the time." "I was afraid. My career was at risk. I felt isolated and in darkness. These moments are difficult to remember. I felt alone, like there was nothing I could do, and no one to turn to for assistance. As a 20-year old, it was hard to imagine being placed in such a situation by someone who was supposed to be there to help and improve your game, as well as make you a better person and build your career.
The NHL fined $2 million to the Blackhawks for their "inadequate internal procedures and insufficiently timely response." Stan Bowman, the general manager, resigned Tuesday. Al MacIsaac, the senior director of hockey operations was also fired.
To discuss his involvement, Gary Bettman met with Joel Quenneville, the Blackhawks' head coach, and Kevin Cheveldayoff the Winnipeg General Manager to discuss it.
Beach stated, "I believe that the Blackhawks' step yesterday was a great step forward in the right direction." They took responsibility and took the necessary actions, even though they were late. They were able to withstand the denials up until yesterday. I applaud them for their actions. The NHL refused to investigate a part of this process, I don't know what it was, three-four months ago. They didn't want anything to do with it. USA Sport denied that they had conducted an investigation. Stan Bowman quoted Joel Quenneville in the release. He said that the Stanley Cup playoffs, trying to win the Stanley Cup, and the playoffs were more important than sexual assault.
"I can't believe it." "As a human being, that is impossible for me to believe and that I can't accept."