Blackhawks “John Doe” revealed

Justin Schaumberger, Sports Co-Editor

On Monday Nov. 1 an independent law firm, Jenner & Block, concluded their several month long investigation into a lawsuit filed by a former anonymous Blackhawks player. Yet when the results were handed over to the Blackhawks, the situation seemed even more unfinished and left many outraged.

In May under the pseudonym of “John Doe”, Kyle Beach filed a lawsuit claiming that former video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted both him and another player during the team’s Stanley Cup run in 2010. An emotional Kyle Beach, who came forward on Monday as the “John Doe”, apologized to the world in an interview with Rick Westhead. Beach felt guilty that he had not done more to make Aldrich’s actions public knowledge. He felt it was his responsibility that Aldrich later sexually assaulted another individual, this time a Michigan teen. While on the verge of tears, Beach said, “I’m sorry I didn’t do more when I could. To make sure it didn’t happen to him.” 

The true blame lies with the entire Blackhawks organization and the NHL. According to the report filed by Jenner & Block, numerous players and staff members knew of the allegations back in 2010. At the time, former manager Stan Boman said “[head coach Joel] Quenneville shook his head and said that it was hard for the team to get to where they were, and they could not deal with this issue now.” According to the investigation, after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, Aldrich was given the chance to undergo an investigation or to resign. Aldrich chose to resign and no investigation was ever conducted. James Gary, the Blackhawks’ mental skills coach, allegedly tried to convince Beach that the assault was his own fault. Additionally, Beach’s own teammates, who have yet to comment on the report, reportedly teased Beach about the allegations and directed anti-gay slurs at him. Even the NHL, which prides itself on listening to their players and defending them, chose to simply take the Blackhawks word that the lawsuit was nothing instead of investigating matters themselves. 

Beach did also talk about how there were members of the Blackhawks organization that stood by him through his hardships. Former teammates Nick Boynton and Brent Sopel stood by him. Former coaches John Torchetti and Paul Vincent helped to support Beach. Vincent even “helped bring the allegations to light.”

Despite the lawsuit becoming public, there has still been a stunning amount of ineptitude by the Blackhawks organization and the NHL. Former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville was allowed to continue coaching for the Panthers even after the report became public. Bowman, “who believed he would survive the scandal”, resigned not because he felt guilty, but because he did not want to be a distraction to the team. The only punishment issued by the NHL was a 2 million-dollar fine against the organization. Following the public release of the results Beach said, “Although the results of the private investigation have been released, and the Blackhawks have apologized, my battle is really just beginning as the Blackhawks continue to attempt to destroy my case in court.” 

Beach is now a common name in the world of hockey, but not for the reasons he imagined as a child growing up. Instead, his entire world was turned upside down by the actions of one man and the interactions of many others. However, Beach has shown tremendous courage and resilience to stand for what is right. Hopefully his fight will not be in vain and will force the NHL and other major sports to do a better job at handling situations such as this.

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