The Chicago Blackhawks released a statement Wednesday after former player Kyle Beach came forward as 'John Doe' in the team's sexual assault investigation.
In the statement, the Blackhawks apologized to Beach for mishandling the sexual allegations made against a former staff member. The team said it realizes it was "inexcusable" for the then-executives of the team to "delay taking action regarding the reported sexual misconduct". Beach claimed that the team ignored his and another teammate's revelation of former video coach Brad Aldrich's sexual assault in 2010.
Here is the team's full statement:
“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. 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.
"The Blackhawks have implemented numerous changes and improvements within the organization, including hiring a new leadership team that is committed to winning championships while adhering to the highest ethical, professional, and athletic standards.”
The statement comes one day after findings of an independent investigation into sexual assault allegations from the 2010 Stanley Cup team were released. After the release, CEO Danny Wirtz announced that Stan Bowman, president of hockey operations and general manager, "stepped aside" from the organization.
The investigation found senior management in the Hawks organization held a meeting to discuss the report of sexual assault by Aldrich. That group did not act for three weeks, after team's 2010 Stanley Cup victory and celebration.
Aldrich resigned from the team in June 2010 after meeting with Blackhawks' director of Human Relations where he was reportedly told he would either have to take leave or that he would be further investigated.