Chicago Blackhawks Laud Kyle Beach for His 'Courage' in 2010 Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

The NHL's Chicago Blackhawks released a statement Wednesday that commended Kyle Beach, who revealed himself as John Doe in the team's lawsuit concerning a 2010 sexual assault.

Beach, 31, came forward as the player mentioned in the lawsuit during an interview with TSN. The former Blackhawk stated that "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."

In the Blackhawks' statement, the team said that they "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," the statement continued.

The Blackhawks also apologized to Beach for "the organization's failure to promptly respond when he bravely brought this matter to light in 2010."

The team's statement was released almost immediately after Beach's interview on TSN aired.

Beach currently plays professional hockey in a German league, but spent eight years in the Chicago organization.

Most of this time was spent playing with the Blackhawks' minor league affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.

Beach revealed his identity the day after a scathing report from law firm Jenner & Block was made public. The report detailed several allegations of sexual assault involving the Blackhawks' former video coach, Brad Aldrich.

The report also stated that numerous Blackhawks players and staff members knew of the allegations but did not come to Beach's defense. Additionally, teammates would reportedly tease him with homophobic slurs.

"The comments were made in the locker room, they were made on the ice, they were made around the arena with all different people of all different backgrounds; players, staff, media in the presence," Beach said, and that "word spread pretty quick."

Chicago Blackhawks United Center
Former Chicago Blackhawks player Kyle Beach has come forward as John Doe in the team's recent sexual assault lawsuit. Here, the Blackhawks home arena, the United Center, can be seen during the 2010 Stanley Cup Final. Maxx Wolfson/Getty

Beach also said that he believed Chicago brushed the assault under the rug because the team was deep into the playoffs and focused on winning a championship.

Beach first told another coach of the incident during the 2010 playoffs, in which Chicago would go on to win the Stanley Cup.

The coach that Beach met with, Paul Vincent, informed the Blackhawks' top brass of the allegations. Despite this, Chicago allowed Aldrich to remain with the team for the rest of the playoffs, and he was also given a traditional day with the Stanley Cup before he eventually resigned.

In the aftermath of the report being released, a shakeup occurred at the top of the Blackhawks' front office occurred. This included the resignation of general manager Stan Bowman and senior VP of hockey operations Al MacIsaac.

Additional scrutiny has been directed towards former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. Currently the head coach of the Florida Panthers, Quenneville was behind the bench for Chicago's three recent Stanley Cups.

While Quenneville reiterated that he was unaware of the allegations, this was contradicted by information in the Jenner & Block report, which stated that Quenneville had sat in on meetings about the situation.

The National Hockey League (NHL) fined the Blackhawks $2 million for "inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response."

Newsweek has reached out to the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) for comment.

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