Kyle Beach On Blackhawks Sexual Abuse Scandal: ‘The NHL Let Me Down’
Kyle Beach had strong words for the NHL and its leaders after revealing his identity as “John Doe” in a damning report released Tuesday that showed inaction by the Chicago Blackhawks management when presented with sexual assault allegations.
These allegations included current Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville, the coach of the Blackhawks in 2010 when the alleged incident between Beach and former video coach Brad Aldrich occurred. Beach claims that Aldrich sexually assaulted him.
Beach said that meetings took place in Quenneville’s office after he told mental skills coach Jim “Doc” Gary and skills coach Paul Vincent about his allegations.
“There’s absolutely no way Quenneville can deny knowing it,” Beach told TSN. “And there’s absolutely no way Stan Bowman would make up a quote like that.”
Quenneville has publicly said he never knew of the allegations, although the report said a contingent including Quenneville, former general manager Stan Bowman and other members of the front office discussed it. The report said that Quenneville and former team president John McDonough wanted to keep the focus on the team during their playoff run.
“The NHL let me down and they’ve let others down as well,” Beach said. “But they continue to try and protect their name over the health and well-being of the people who put their lives on the line every day to make the NHL what it is.”
Quenneville did not attend to his post-game media responsibilities following Florida’s 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins. Instead, the general manager of the Panthers Bill Zito, read a prepared statement:
“Joel will be meeting with Commissioner Gary Bettman and he has no comments prior to that meeting. As an organization, we commend Kyle Beach for his courage in coming forward this evening to bring to light the pain he endured during his time in Chicago. Information that has recently become available is deeply troubling. There’s no question the events described in Tuesday’s report are serious and severe. We are working closely with the National Hockey League to assist with the ongoing process and with respect to that will not comment further until after the commissioner’s meeting tomorrow with Joel.”
Beach maintains that the NHL sweeping the situation under the rug.“If this would have been reported to somebody other than team leaders, that didn’t have skin in the game of winning in the Stanley Cup, it would have been dealt with,” Beach said, “and it would have protected the survivors that came after me.”