Courageous Kyle Beach reveals himself as Blackhawks John Doe
Kyle Beach revealed himself Wednesday as the “John Doe” in the sexual assault investigation that enveloped the NHL and the Chicago Blackhawks franchise the week.
Beach, 31, came forward during an interview with TSN on Wednesday, one day after a damning report excoriated the Blackhawks for their inaction and mishandling of Beach’s allegations in 2010.
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman left the organization in the aftermath of Tuesday’s report. Senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac also left his position.
Kyle Beach comes forward
“(Tuesday,) it was a day of many emotions,” Beach told TSN. “I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I cried some more. My girlfriend and I, we didn’t really know how to feel, we didn’t really know how to think.”
Beach was asked by investigative reporter Rick Westhead to put into words the impact this experience had him.
“I’m just beginning that process. I’ve suppressed this memory and buried this memory to chase my dreams and pursue the career that I loved and the game that I love of hockey. And the healing process is just beginning and yesterday was a huge step in that process,” Beach explained. “I begin to look back and it definitely had impacts on my life. I did stupid things, I acted out, I snapped…I did things that I never could imagine doing. I relied on alcohol, I relied on drugs and…I’m just so relieved with the news that came out yesterday, that I’ve been vindicated, and I can truly begin the healing process.”
Blackhawks release statement
The Blackhawks released a statement after the interview aired.
“First, we would like to acknowledge and commend Kyle Beach’s courage in coming forward. As an organization, the Chicago Blackhawks reiterate our deepest apologies to him for what he has gone through and for the organization’s failure to promptly respond when he bravely brought this matter to light in 2010,” the team said in the statement. “It was inexcusable for the then-executives of the Blackhawks organization to delay taking action regarding the reported sexual misconduct. No playoff game or championship is more important than protecting our players and staff from predatory behavior.”
Bowman was concluding his first year as general manager in 2010 when former video coach Bradley Aldrich allegedly assaulted two players. Reid Schar, a former U.S. attorney, interviewed 139 witnesses during a four-month investigation and found the team failed to take action following a May 23, 2010, meeting to discuss the allegations of sexual assault.
Among the members of the organization who were present were Bowman, then-president John McDonough, then-senior vice president Jay Blunk, now-Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville and Kevin Cheveldayoff, now the general manager of the Winnipeg Jets, Schar said.
The NHL levied a $2 million fine against the Blackhawks for their “inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response” to the matter. Half of the money will be donated to Chicago-area organizations that work with survivors of sexual assault and other forms of abuse.
“I think that the step the Blackhawks took yesterday is a great step in the right direction,” Beach said. “They accepted accountability and they took actions necessary, albeit too late.”
Beach was Chicago’s first-round draft pick (No. 11 overall) in 2008. He now plays professionally in Germany.
–Field Level Media