Victim Kyle Beach Lauded After Blackhawks Sex Abuse Scandal
Kyle Beach is being commended for his bravery after coming forward as the victim in the Chicago Blackhawks sexual assault scandal.
Tuesday afternoon, the Blackhawks released a commissioned report into the alleged incident after examining allegations that former video coordinator Bradley Aldrich sexually assaulted a player in 2010. In their release of the report, the Blackhawks also announced they parted ways with two top executives who were with the franchise at the time of the incident.
Aldrich left the Blackhawks following the 2010 season for a coaching position with a boy’s high school hockey team. He is also facing sexual assault allegations from a former high school player.
Throughout the reporting of the incident, the accuser from the Blackhawks was referred to as “John Doe.” Wednesday evening, Beach announced he was the unnamed sexual assault victim during an emotional 25-minute interview with TSN.
Now playing in the German third division, the 31-year-old hockey player expressed a “great feeling of relief and vindication,” to finally come forward after more than 10 years, adding that it was an important step in his recovery process.
“I’ve been a survivor, I am a survivor,” Beach told Rick Westhead on TSN. “And I know I’m not alone. I know I’m not the only one, male or female. And I buried this for 10 years, 11 years. And it’s destroyed me from the inside out.
“I want everybody to know in the sports world and in the world that you’re not alone,” Beach continued. “That if these things happen to you, you need to speak up…I hope that this entire process can make a systematic change to make sure this never happens again. Because it not only affected me as a young adult and now as a 31-year-old man, but it also affected kids because it was not handled in a correct way.”
Following the interview with TSN, the Blackhawks issued a statement, commending Beach for 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 statement read. “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.”
Beach’s bravery was widely praised on social media as well, with hockey fans, reporters, players and many others applauding his courage.
Watch above via TSN
Kyle Beach I support you & I believe you. Thank you for your bravery. I hope you know you are helping so many. 🤍 I stand with you.
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) October 28, 2021
Tremendous respect for Kyle Beach & his bravery.
Shame on the teammates, coaches & staff who buried this & prioritized winning. Sick. https://t.co/1xqF2DsSwa
— Sarah Spain (@SarahSpain) October 27, 2021
The bravery by Kyle Beach… this interview is fucking heartbreaking.
The cowardice of the people who hid this, ruining a young player’s life in the name of success.
What a shit stain on the game of hockey.
— Scott Billeck (@ScottBilleck) October 27, 2021
Kyle Beach is a hero. Like most true heroes he didn’t choose to be but was forced out of his circumstances. He is the definition of courage & bravery. I have no doubt he saved lives today.
— Jim Toth (@JimTothSports) October 28, 2021
Somehow Kyle Beach, feels guilty.💔
Kyle, you are not to blame for ANYTHING.
I hope you know ur not alone.
I hope you know you’re helping other victims find their own bravery.
And I hope you find your peace.
You MATTER. YOU deserved better.
& I’m sorry that hockey failed you. https://t.co/UUOUzHXBHn
— Jackie Redmond (@Jackie_Redmond) October 28, 2021
Kyle Beach’s courage to come forward and speak is undeniably brave.
All love and support to Kyle and his family.
— Tim and Friends (@timandfriends) October 27, 2021
Kyle Beach we stand with you.
— Tara Slone (@TaraSlone) October 27, 2021
So much respect and admiration for Kyle Beach. No one should ever feel alone. Prayers to him🙏
— Alyssa Bergamini (@AlyssaBergamini) October 27, 2021
We occasionally get lost in the hockey and the palace intrigue of this story. But when you hear Kyle Beach apologizing to the victim in Houghton, when you read this about how it felt to watch Aldrich celebrate like nothing happened — the human side is why it’s so unforgivable. pic.twitter.com/6v67870fn1
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) October 27, 2021
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) October 27, 2021
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org