Controversy and Fall-Out in Chicago

Francesco Gerardi, Writer

The Chicago Blackhawks are under intense scrutiny after a private investigation from Jenner and Block went public with findings that the team covered up the sexual assault of a former player in 2010.

Kyle Beach, or as stated in the report, “John Doe #1,” came forward on October 27, 2021 as the victim of the heinous crime that took place. It took immense courage for him to name himself as John Doe #1, and athletes, media reporters, celebrities, and many others have come forward with an outpouring of support for him. Other players who were on the Blackhawks at the same time as Beach are now also under fire for their inappropriate or inadequate responses to the news of the sexual misconduct.

Though it has only been two days since the report was released on October 26, 2021, there has been immediate fallout. Longtime General Manager (GM) Stan Bowman vacated his position after the report revealed he was one of the organization leaders who thought it would be a good idea to bury the player assault. The former Blackhawk’s head coach at the time of the assault, Joel Quenneville, had since moved on as the Florida Panther’s coach. He resigned from his position following a meeting with NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, on October 28, 2021. Bettman also fined the Chicago Blackhawks $2 million dollars for their incompetence in the matter.

The inaction of the Blackhawks in inexcusable and let a predator continue to be involved with young adults and minors. The NHL should make it clear to all clubs that the mishandling of these cases will not be tolerated.

For any survivors of sexual assault, please do not hesitate to use the following resources or reach out to others:

800-656-HOPE (National Sexual Assault Hotline)

NSVRC.ORG (National Sexual Violence Resource Center)