Blackhawks sexual assault case

Former Blackhawks player Kyle Beach files a lawsuit against Bradley Aldrich and the Blackhawks for not reporting the sexual assault.

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Maddie Monroe

Kyle beach files law suit against the Blackhawks.

Kyle Beach, a former Blackhawks player for the National Hockey League, filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Blackhawks former video coach, Brad Aldrich in 2010. In May of 2010, both men talked to the investigator and confirmed that they had a sexual encounter, one of them saying that it was consensual, and the other saying that he was forced into it. On May 23, 2010, there was a meeting held with the following people; president John McDonough, MacIsaac, general manager Stan Bowman, executive vice president Jay Blunk, assistant general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, head coach Joel Quenneville and mental skills coach James Gary, to talk about everything. After the meeting, no action was taken against Aldrich, and was given the chance to celebrate with the team for their Stanley Cup win. The Blackhawks players and staff members knew something was happening, but they swept it under the rug and kept going, they didn’t act upon the incident. In June, human resources contacted Aldrich, giving him the option to either resign or to undergo an investigation, he chose to resign, allowing him to walk away with no harm done to him. 

Due to not following up against the investigation, the NHL commissioner Gary Bettman gave a $2 million fine against the Blackhawks.

 “This response should send a clear message to all NHL Clubs and all NHL personnel that inappropriate acts must be addressed in a timely fashion,” Bettman said.

Beach wasn’t Aldrich’s first assault though, while he was Miami University’s director of hockey operations, he assaulted a student that worked at the rink and a hockey camp intern. After things were turning against Aldrich in Ohio, he resigned and started working in Houghton, Michigan, where he sexually assaulted a high school player at a party after one of the games. 

In 2013, Aldrich was charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. After being charged, In 2014, he was sentenced to a nine-month sentence along with having to register as a sex offender and spend five years on probation. 

In June of 2021, Beach filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Blackhawks for not taking action. After Beach filed the lawsuit, another investigation started, proving that even the Blackhawks violate their own sexual assault rules by waiting for more than three weeks to report the issue. 

Stan Bowman, one of the few people remaining in their position from 2010 sent out a statement saying that he was stepping down from being the President and General Manager of the Blackhawks.

“It was a day of many emotions. I cried I smiled, I laughed, I cried some more. My girlfriend and I didn’t really know how to feel, we didn’t really know how to think,” Beach Said. 

Beach is now playing for Germany and Aldrich is currently working for the USA hockey team as their Video coach. As of October 28, the case is still ongoing between Beach and the Blackhawks. 

Things like this have happened before, where something happens to a team member and the coaching staff looks the other way before it’s more convenient for them. 

“USA Gymnastics, like you, find a new team doctor, right? Like that one person, then that ripple effect through all of those people’s careers because nobody wanted to do anything about it,” Whitney Walsh said. 

Not only do they look the other way, but they also don’t support their team or players. In sports, especially male sports, it is frowned upon to come forward about things like this. 

“I am proud of the athlete or athletes for standing up for themselves because in male-dominated sports they’re told that you know men shouldn’t speak up for stuff like that,” Marni Palklov said. “Stuff never happens to men and boys, and for professional athletes to come forward, it kind of sheds a light on how this stuff is happening in all sports, not just to the female athletes.”

Having the confidence to come forward and tell his story, will show others that they can share what happened so they have someone to talk to