I often joke that I still wake up, covered in sweat screaming Michael Leighton’s name after the Patrick Kane Cup winning goal that he allowed. My nightmare pales in comparison to the torture that Kyle Beach was dealing with during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Kyle Beach, the 11th Overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft came forward today, and revealed himself as the John Doe that was sexually assaulted by a Chicago Blackhawks staff member during the 2010 Stanley Cup run. Please note that I will never, in the entirety of this blog post, say that Kyle Beach “alleges” that he was assaulted, This young man has no reason to not tell the truth, and has more courage than I can possibly convey.
Beach was assaulted by Brad Aldrich, who was at the time a video coordinator for the Blackhawks. Beach reported the assault immediately, and the news apparently hit the upper tier of Blackhawks management. They covered it up. Winning the Stanley Cup was more important than getting Kyle Beach any justice. The Hawks organization issued a statement, apologizing for the way the incident was handled. That apology is about eleven years too late.
Kyle Beach had to watch as Brad Aldrich celebrated a day with the Stanley Cup; as he attended the Stanley Cup parade. I can’t imagine the pain that caused Kyle Beach, who has admitted that he had suppressed the memories of the assault after the organization did nothing. Aldrich os no longer with the organization, Stan Bowman (GM) and Al MacIssaac (VP of Hockey Operations) both left the organization after the explosive report was made public.
In 2010, the coach of the Blackhawks who felt the Cup run was more important that Kyle Beach was Joel Quenneville. He is currently the coach of the Florida Panthers, who have yet to lose a game this season. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who handed Quenneville’s Blackhawks the Stanley Cup in Philadelphia 2010, has said he will talk to Quenneville.
I know a little about the subject of assault, and about suppressing memories as well. While the days, weeks, months and years after the assault were difficult, Kyle’s healing is going to be painful. When you come forward as a victim, people can look at you differently. They don’t know what to say, so some will say nothing. Others will question the victim’s culpability in the assault…you know, what did they do to provoke it? People really need to sit down, and just be uncomfortable with their feelings.
Still others will question why he is coming forward now, it has to be about money, right? Let me tell you, from experience, there is no amount of money that can make what Kyle Beach is facing worth the pain. Admitting a sexual assault is torture as a woman; it must be excruciating as a man to admit being assaulted by another man. He waited to make this public? So did I… .three years. He acted out and turned to alcohol to dull the pain. So did I, and I am still healing and trying to apologize for that bad behavior. He had to watch as everyone thought his assailant was this great guy? So did I….he was just Mr. Charm. I am begging every person who reads his truth to stand with Kyle Beach. Man, woman, victim…..stand with him, don’t question him.Don’t make his nightmare last one second longer than it has to.
#METOO Kyle, #METOO.
By: Phyllis Ceci (@flyersfan1129)
Featured Image Courtesy reganbartel.blogspot.com