The truth behind the Chicago Blackhawks sexual abuse scandal came out yesterday, in part from the 107-page report released on the investigation, but more importantly from Kyle Beach speaking his truth. For Beach—a survivor—to come forward and talk about his experience, it takes incredible strength and courage to be in the spotlight in a story that covers his darkest days. We unequivocally stand behind Beach. We thank him, we believe him, and we support him.
Content warning: Sexual assault.
For most, it has been a difficult time to be a fan of the NHL since details of the horrific sexual assault were reported by Rick Westhead near the end of the 2021 season. As details emerged over the course of the offseason, what was already known about the league became a lot clearer: many of its organizations have had no accountability and ultimately it has failed its players.
This post isn’t meant to be focused on what the league, teams, or players did or didn’t do. There are plenty of journalists like Westhead, Katie Strang, and more, that have shared the story with more details, and their work has been invaluable in search of the truth. This post is meant to amplify Beach’s voice and give courses of action that fans of hockey can take. Effecting change is never easy, especially around a league with executives who choose to overlook—if not actively suppress—the knowledge of crimes committed under the rug to put “focusing on winning” as a higher priority.
We encourage you to take the time if you have not yet already, to listen to the interview between Beach and Westhead.
The transcript to the interview can be found on TSN’s website.
What can you do to take action
Recently, Evan F. Moore and Jashvina Shah released a book titled: Game Misconduct — Hockey’s Toxic Culture and How to Fix It.
Links to more information on the book as well as to purchase the book can be found here.
Resources on sexual assault centres, crisis lines, and support services
Below are resources as shared by Ending Violence Canada and RAINN. Please consider donating to these resources if you are able.
(national list of shelters and transition houses)
|National Residential School Crisis Line||1 866 925 4419|
|National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence|
|MyPlan (safety planning app)|
|Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline||1 833 900 1010|
|Hope for Wellness||1 855 242 3310|
|Trans Lifeline||1 877 330 6366|
|Youthspace (open 6-12pm PST)||Text 778 783 0177|
|Kids Help Phone||1 800 668 6868|
|National Sexual Assault Hotline: a service of RAINN||Online chat hotline|
Spanish online chat hotline
Telephone hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673)
|National Helpline for Male Survivors: a service of 1in6||Online chat hotline|
|National Street Harassment Hotline: a service of Stop Street Harassment||Online chat hotline|
Telephone hotline: 855.897.5910
|DoD Safe Helpline: a service for members of the U.S. military and their families, operated by RAINN for the Department of Defense||Online chat hotline|
Telephone hotline: 877.995.5247
Lastly, please also consider donating to the SickKids Foundation if able.