The National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) said on Thursday it would conduct an independent review of its response to the 2010 allegations of sexual assault made by Chicago Blackhawks prospect Kyle Beach against former video coach Brad Aldrich.
The NHLPA said on its official Twitter account that the executive board had voted “in favor of the resolution directing an independent review” over how it handled the Beach case.
The NHL has been rocked by the findings of an independent investigation, conducted by the Blackhawks, into allegations that Aldrich sexually assaulted Beach during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs. The bombshell report has led to a number of team executives submitting their resignations.
The 107-page report released on Oct. 26 detailed a lack of action by Blackhawks senior management, which was made aware of an incident but did not want to deal with the distraction while the team was playing in the Stanley Cup Final.
In the independent report, Aldrich stated that the encounter was entirely consensual.
After winning the Stanley Cup, the Blackhawks offered Aldrich the choice of facing an investigation or resigning, which he did.
Beach, who was referred to as “John Doe” in the report, disclosed last week during a television interview that he was the player who raised sexual assault allegations and filed a lawsuit against his former team.
During that interview, he also noted he went to the NHLPA with the allegations but that it too failed to act.
“I know I reported every single detail to an individual at the NHLPA, who I was put in contact with after,” Beach told Canadian sports network TSN. “I believe two different people talked to Don Fehr.
“For him to turn his back on the players when his one job is to protect the players at all costs, I don’t know how that can be your leader.”
Fehr told investigators he did not recall being alerted to the Beach allegations, but conceded in a statement last week that the NHLPA had failed in its duty.
“There is no doubt that the system failed to support him in his time of need and we are part of that system,” Fehr said.
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