Former Chicago Blackhawks player Kyle Beach has revealed that he is the “John Doe” suing the team over the mishandling of his allegations of sexual abuse. In an emotional interview with Canadian sports station TSN, Beach said his former team did next to nothing when he told them that he’d been abused by former video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010.
“I am a survivor,” Beach said in the interview. “I buried this for ten years, eleven years, and it’s destroyed me from the inside out and I want everybody to know, in the sports world and in the world, that you’re not alone.”
The Blackhawks commissioned a probe in the wake of Beach’s lawsuit, which uncovered damning revelations about how National Hockey League leaders like Panthers coach Joel Quenneville and Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff knew about the assault but took few if any actions. Both Quenneville and Cheveldayoff have said they knew nothing of the assault allegations prior to Beach’s lawsuit, but the investigation found otherwise. In fact, they all discussed what to do about the allegations in 2010, and Quenneville advised against taking action against Aldrich — indicating that it would be a distraction from from the team’s quest for the Stanley Cup.
That quest would turn out to be successful that year, but Beach says he took no joy in fulfilling his dream of hockey success. “It made me feel like nothing,” he told TSN. “It made me feel like he was in the right and I was wrong.”
This week, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman stepped aside over the fallout of his mishandling of Beach’s allegations. “We and he ultimately accept that in his first year as general manager, he made a mistake alongside our other senior executives at the time and did not take adequate action in 2010,” said CEO Danny Wirtz.
Beach indicated that the organization still had a long way to go.
“They let me down and they’ve let others down as well,” he said. “They continue to try and protect their name over the health and the well-being of the people that put their lives on the line every day to make the NHL what it is.”