Another player has come forward and filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Blackhawks, accusing the team of covering up his sexual assault allegations against former video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010.
According to multiple outlets, the lawsuit claims that the NHL team put “Stanley Cup Championship aspirations ahead of the welfare of its players and provided cover to a sexual predator on its coaching staff who groomed, harassed, threatened, and assaulted John Doe.” The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, as well as in 2013 and 2015.
The unnamed player, John Doe, was inspired to come forward by former NHL player Kyle Beach, according to one of his attorneys, Antonio Romanucci. Beach sued the team in 2021, levying similar accusations against Aldrich, which he claimed also occurred in 2010 and were covered up by the Blackhawks as they pursued the Stanley Cup.
“Having somebody like Kyle Beach, who was a known player, someone who was very well known, to come forward – that’s what gave him the courage,” Romanucci said at a news conference Monday. “John Doefeels an immense amount of personal shame, guilt, embarrassment, and it took a long while for him to reconcile and now have this laudatory courage to come forward and make his allegations public."
In his lawsuit, John Doe says that Aldrich threatened his career in the NHL to "coerce" him into staying silent, and that he behaved “overtly and aggressively sexual." Doe belonged to the team's Black Aces – younger players who filled in for those on the roster when they were unable to play – and did not have a permanent spot on the team.
Beach also claimed he was assaulted while serving as a Black Ace, during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs. After an independent investigation commissioned by the Blackhawks, Aldrich admitted to a sexual encounter with Beach, but insisted it was consensual.
The NHL found that Aldrich engaged in sexual misconduct, and subsequently fined the Blackhawks $2 million for their "inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response.” Beach settled with the team for an undisclosed amount shortly after.
Aldrich was not fired from the Blackhawks, but instead resigned in 2010. He was arrested and pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor in 2013 while working as a volunteer coach at a high school in Houghton, Michigan.
Doe's attorneys say he is seeking upwards of $300,000 in damages. Some fans have even called for the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup championship title to be revoked. Aldrich's name, which was engraved on the Stanley Cup following the team's win, has been removed.
“Coach Aldrich’s predatory tendencies, including specifically those directed against John Doe, were well-known to [the Blackhawks],” the suit states.
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