Chicago (CBS) “John Doe,” who accused former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich of sexual assault in 2010, identified himself Wednesday as former Blackhawk player Kyle Beach.
Beach chatted with Rick Westhead today Canadian TSN SportsCentre.
Beach said he was feeling “a great sense of relief, and it’s no longer my word against my word for others.”
CBS2’s Jeremont Terry reports that when fans walked into United Center Wednesday night to watch the Black Hawks take on the Toronto Maple Leafs, many couldn’t help but think about the cloud of shame now hanging over the team — and how Beach said the organization had changed its business yet again. on him.
On Tuesday, Blackhawks Hockey Operations President and General Manager Stan Bowman announced that he “stepped down”, After an independent investigation found that he and a team of other executives failed to immediately investigate the former player’s allegations that he had been sexually assaulted by a former video coach in 2010.
“We and he ultimately accept that in his first year as general manager, he, along with our other senior executives at the time, made a mistake and failed to take appropriate action in 2010,” Team CEO Danny Wirts announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Bowman also resigned Tuesday as general manager of the 2022 U.S. Olympic men’s ice hockey team. Also out of the Black Hawks’ handling of the scandal was senior vice president, Al MacIsac.
Beach now plays in Erfurt, Germany for a team called the Black Dragons. He was a first-round pick for the Blackhawks in 2008.
He told TSN that in 2010, he just finished his junior season with the Spokane Chiefs and was called up by the AHL’s Rockford Ice Hogs. That team, in turn, lost the first round of the playoffs, and Beach said he and several others were called up to the Black Hawks as black Aces players.
“I think any time you get that phone call, you’re off – whether it’s to play or to be a training player. But to be a part of that for the first time besides training camp has been a very special moment for me and my family and the next step for me.” To pursue my dream of the National Hockey League that I’ve dreamed of and have worked with my whole life,” Beach told TSN. “Unfortunately, two weeks later, those memories were tainted, and my life was changed forever.”
Beach was 20 at the time, and said he was “scared” and “afraid” after the alleged abuse.
“I would never, or could never, imagine being put in this position by someone who is supposed to be there to help you and make you a better hockey player and a better person and continue to build your career,” he told TSN. “Just scared and lonely with no idea what to do.”
Beach told TSN that the first person he told was then-Blackhawk skills coach Paul Vincent while he was traveling with the team. Beach credited Vincent with trying to do everything he could when the allegations of abuse first came to light.
Beach also told his family a short time later, he told TSN.
He said, “My mother cried for days.” “She felt responsible, like she should have protected me and there was nothing she could do.”
Meanwhile, Aldrich secured a front row seat to the party when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010. He took the trophy to his hometown, earned a playoff bonus, and attended the banner-raising ceremony at the United Center.
But according to a comprehensive four-month investigation by an independent law firm, the Blackhawks’ management at the time was well aware of the sexual assault allegations made by the man now identified as Beach.
“It’s clear that in 2010, the executives of this organization put team performance above everything else,” said Black Hawks CEO Danny Wirts. “John Doe deserves better than the Blackhawks.”
Former federal prosecutor Red Shar, who conducted an independent investigation into the team’s handling of the former player’s allegations after they filed a lawsuit against the Black Hawks in May, said their investigation determined that both the former player and Aldrich agreed they had a sexual relationship in May 2010, but While Beach insisted that he was completely unconsensual, Aldrich maintained that it was completely consensual.
Shar said Bowman and other top executives failed to promptly conduct a thorough investigation after the player reported the alleged assault to the team’s ski coach.
According to Char, his team interviewed 139 people during the four-month investigation; Including 21 current Blackhawk players, 14 members of the 2009-2010 team. Investigators also interviewed Doe and Aldrich, who “have widely varying memories” of what happened, but agreed that they had a sexual encounter in May 2010.
Shar said the man now identified as Beach told the team’s skating coach about the confrontation about a week after it happened, and on May 23, 2010, a team employee told MacIsaac that there might have been a sexual encounter between the player and Aldrich, and Aldrich sent a sexually explicit message. to another player.
Makisak directed mental skills coach Jim Garry to speak to the man now identified as Beach to find out the details of the sexual encounter, according to Char. Beach told Team Shar that he provided the full details of the alleged assault to Gary on May 23; While Gary recalled getting “very limited” information from the player, he told investigators he believed the player’s allegations, and that Aldrich was pressuring the player to have sex.
Shar said several Blackhawk executives and coaches had a meeting within an hour of winning the Western Conference title to secure a place in the Stanley Cup Final, to talk about the allegations against Aldrich, but no action was taken for three weeks.
TSN also reported that team management denied Gary’s request to contact Chicago police about the sexual assault allegations.
McDonough finally notified the team’s human resources department about the sexual assault allegations on June 14, and Aldrich resigned two days later, according to the independent investigation report.
According to Schaar, during that time, Aldrich was not only allowed to continue working and travel with the team, but was also allowed to participate in Stanley Cup ceremonies in the presence of his accuser, and also made unwanted sexual advances toward the 22-year-old Blackhawk apprentice.
In order to see Aldrich be honored with the team, Beech told TSN, “The only way I can describe it is that I felt sick, I felt sick to my stomach. I reported this and was informed that it had reached the top of the chain of command by ‘Doc’ (James) ) Gary and nothing happened. It was as if his life was the same as the day before. Like every day. And then when they won, I saw him walking around lifting the cup, at the parade, at the team photos, at the ceremonies, he made me feel like nothing He made me feel like I didn’t exist. He made me feel like I didn’t matter and… He made me feel that I was right and that I was wrong.”
Beach further alleged that Gary told him that it was his fault, because he had put himself in the situation.
On top of that, Beach said, words spread quickly among the team and people made bad comments winning the locker room and on the ice.
Aldrich went on to plead guilty in 2013 to a misdemeanor criminal sexual conduct with a former Michigan high school hockey player, who also sued Blackhawks for negligence. TSN Beach asked about this later claim, and Beach was in tears when he spoke about it.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t do more, when I could, to make sure that didn’t happen to him. Beech said of the Michigan victim.” But I also wanted to thank him. Because when I decided, after one of my teammates asked me about it when I was playing abroad, and I decided to Google Brad Aldrich’s name and that’s when I discovered the Michigan team, the Michigan team. Because of what happened to him, it gave me the strength and a sense of urgency to take action to make sure that doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
Beach sued Blackhawks for negligence, which led to an independent investigation that led to the resignation of those members of the team’s senior officers this week.
“I think the step that Black Hawks took yesterday is a fantastic step in the right direction,” Beach said. “They accepted accountability and took action, albeit too late.”
Of the executives and coaches at the June 2010 meeting regarding allegations against Aldrich, former GM assistant Kevin Cheveldayoff and former head coach Joel Quenneville are the only ones currently employed by the NHL — Cheveldayoff as general manager of the Winnipeg Jets, and Quenneville as head coach of the Florida Panthers — and the league plans To meet with them about the results of the investigation.
Beach blamed the NHL as a whole for its failure.
“NHL is comprehensive; The NHL includes everyone. They have failed me and others as well. But they continue to try to protect their name on the health and well-being of people who put their lives at risk every day to make the NHL what it is,” he said. “I hope that Gary Pittman takes this seriously and through it and that he does his due diligence, that he not only talks to them, but With Stan Bowman, John McDonough, and anyone else who has information to provide before he makes his decision. Because they have already let me down, they won’t investigate me, so why would they now? ”
The Black Hawks released a statement late Wednesday after Beach identified himself:
“First, we would like to applaud and applaud Kyle Beach’s courage in moving forward. As an organization, the Chicago Blackhawks reiterate our deepest apologies to him for what he went through and for the organization’s failure to respond quickly when he so bravely exposed this matter in 2010. It was no excuse for the organization’s executives. Blackhawks then..to delay action on reported sexual misconduct..no playoff or tournament is more important than protecting our players and staff from aggressive behavior.
The Blackhawks have implemented many changes and improvements within the organization, including the appointment of a new leadership team committed to winning championships while adhering to the highest ethical, professional and sporting standards.”
After the game Wednesday night, two remaining Blackhawks from the 2010 team — Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews — spoke about Beach and his observations.
“I didn’t know anything back then, you know, until today — when, you know, Kyle came out as John Doe — that was the first time I knew it was him,” Kane said. “Very brave to come out. I knew Cale well through two different training camps—I wish at the time we could do a few different things or know a few different things; maybe we could help him.”
“I didn’t hear about it until training camp the following year. The truth is that a lot of us focused on just playing hockey and doing what we used to do every day, and you know, if you heard rumors, it would be in the back of your mind.” Now when you go through all the Details, it looks ugly, and it’s really hard to fathom the fact that you don’t dive into something like that a little more.
Beach says he also wants to hold former coach Quinville responsible. Coach Q is currently the head coach of the Florida Panthers, and is expected to meet NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday.