"Courage" is the word to describe Kyle Beach's decision to speak up.
Beach came forward on Wednesday as a victim in the Chicago Blackhawks' sexual-assault scandal involving the team's former video coach Bradley Aldrich in 2010.
Referred to as John Doe in legal documents, Beach revealed his identity in an interview with TSN's Rick Westhead. Strong, raw and heartbreaking, the 31-year-old former first-round pick shared his trauma and called for systemic change in the NHL.
"I’ve been a survivor, I am a survivor," Beach told Westhead. "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. And I want everybody to know in the sports world and in the world that you’re not alone. That if these things happen to you, you need to speak up. Because there are support systems."
His bravery yielded support and praise from all corners of the hockey community.
Kyle Beach we stand with you.
— Tara Slone (@TaraSlone) October 27, 2021
— Christine Simpson (@SNChrisSimpson) October 27, 2021
Kyle Beach is a brave human. So much respect for him.
— Dan Riccio (@danriccio_) October 27, 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
Beach described the feelings of isolation and invisibility that followed the lack of action after news of the alleged assault made its way up to the Blackhawks' chain of command.
"I was scared, mostly. I was fearful. I had my career threatened. I felt alone and dark," Beach said. "Sorry, it’s tough to recall these moments. I felt like I was alone and there was nothing I could do and nobody I could turn to for help."
Eleven years later, Beach has found his voice — and the impacts of his courage have been felt all around the hockey world and beyond.
So much respect and admiration for Kyle Beach. No one should ever feel alone. Prayers to him🙏
— Alyssa Bergamini (@AlyssaBergamini) October 27, 2021
Love and respect to Kyle Beach. Very courageous of him to speak today.
— Randip Janda (@RandipJanda) 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
“the nhl is inclusive but they let me down and they let others down… they prioritized the name over someone’s health” - Kyle Beach on what he has to say to Gary Bettman
— spooky sparky🕸 (@rizvistan) October 27, 2021
— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) October 27, 2021
Every piece of my heart goes out to Kyle Beach.
— Matt Porter (@mattyports) October 27, 2021
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) October 27, 2021
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