Toews and Kane explain what they knew about the Blackhawks sexual assault scandal – .

Toews and Kane explain what they knew about the Blackhawks sexual assault scandal – .

Editor’s Note: The following story deals with sexual assault and may be upsetting for some readers. If you or someone you know needs help, people in Canada can find province-specific centers, crisis lines and services here. For American readers, a list of resources and references for survivors and their loved ones can be found here.

Following the publication on Tuesday of the findings of a four-month investigation into sexual assault allegations made by two former Chicago Blackhawks players against a former assistant coach, team managers Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have turned their attention. interviewed on Wednesday to express their knowledge of the situation and its consequences.

Earlier Wednesday, Kyle Beach – who identified himself as the John Doe of the investigation in an interview with TSN’s Rick Westhead – said he believed all players in the locker room were aware of the incident at center of the investigation, because of the homophobic slurs and taunts which Beach says were directed at him repeatedly during the 2009-10 playoffs, and afterwards.

When asked what he knew and what he heard, Toews replied that he was not aware of the situation at the time.

“Look, I mean, at the end of the day, I don’t want to exempt myself from this by saying I didn’t know, but the truth is I hadn’t heard of it until training camp on. next year, ”Toews said after the game on Wednesday. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t change what happened, it doesn’t take anything away, it doesn’t make it go away. At the end of the day, collectively, as players, if the guys knew, the hindsight is 20/20 – I think we wish we could have done something different, myself included.

“My heart goes out to Kyle for what he faced, and I wish I could have done something. In the end, that’s obviously not an excuse in hindsight, but the truth is, a lot of us were focused on just playing hockey and doing what we did every day. And if you hear rumors, it’s almost right in the back of your mind. And now when you go through the details of it all, it looks ugly, and it’s really hard to come to terms with the fact that you [didn’t] dive a little deeper into something like that, and take it more seriously, on the spot. But, it’s still easy to say in hindsight.

“I feel a ton for what Kyle has been through and what he’s facing right now. I don’t know what else to say. I think the guys who were in that band all wished they could do something different. “

Speaking from his home while in COVID protocol, Kane echoed his captain’s comments regarding his situational awareness.

“I didn’t know anything at the time,” Kane said. ” Same [Wednesday], when Kyle came out as John Doe, it was the first time I knew it was him. And when it comes to the harassment and the various comments, I don’t remember anything either. Look, I think that was a terrible situation, and I obviously feel for him if things were thrown at him – you know, harsh words, bullying, different things like that. I really feel for him if this stuff happened.

Noting that he first heard about Beach’s story a year later, before the 2010-11 season, Toews was asked if he felt compelled to act when he heard about what had happened between Beach and video coach Brad Aldrich.

“I mean, no, not really,” he said. “I think, to be honest with you, and blunt, I thought what I heard was the beginning and the end. And it wasn’t a joke, but it was something that wasn’t taken very seriously at the time. I thought the fact that Brad was fired or resigning from the organization was the way it was handled, and for me it was water under the bridge. If I had been more connected in any way to the situation and had known some of the bloodiest details of it, I would like to say yes, I would have acted differently in my role as captain, that is sure.

While Toews said he and Beach didn’t know each other well, Kane said he and the Rockford IceHogs winger had hooked up together at previous training camps.

“He was drafted the year after me, and I remember going to eat with him a few times, hanging out with him and Akim Aliu as well. The three of us seemed to be together a lot, ”Kane said.

« [It’s a] terrible situation, and very brave for him to go out and make his name known to the world after everything he’s been through. … Hearing that it was him, and with the news and everything going on, I obviously feel for him, compassionate for him and his family. And I wish that back then we could have done different things, or know some different things, that we could have maybe helped him.

In the same 2009-10 season, Aliu was the victim of racist slurs from Bill Peters, then head coach of the Chicago AHL branch at Rockford. Later that year, in the middle of the 2010 playoffs, Beach was called up from Rockford to serve as black ace for the Blackhawks playoffs, during which time the incident with Aldrich occurred. Toews and Kane were asked if the situation affected how they view this 2009-10 champion season and the legacy of late leaders Stan Bowman and Al MacIsaac.

” It’s hard. I mean, you have a lot of fond memories from this year. I think hearing the news and how it all happened, it would probably – I mean certainly – be treated differently, especially for Kyle’s sake, ”Kane said. “It looked like the organization had to do what it had to do in terms of the necessary measures, in terms of the guys who were with the team at the time who were still with the team now and are not. more with us.

“Look, I knew Stan very well, I know him as a great man. He’s done a lot for me personally, coming into the league and just in my career. I’m sure he probably would have handled things a little differently these days. But what has happened has happened in the past, and I think the organization made the right decisions to move the Blackhawks forward in the right steps and make sure we move forward.

Toews added on this 2010 season: “It puts things in perspective. I think when you chase your dream of winning the Stanley Cup it becomes the only thing. As they say, winning is everything, and it consumes your whole world. Obviously it was a special memory in many ways, but when something like that tarnishes it, it really makes you realize that there is more to life than hockey. In many ways, this is an unfortunate situation.

“I think winning the Stanley Cup that year is irrelevant. So whether we won or not, do we wish it was treated differently in some way? Probably. Do we wish we could take it back and it never happened, and young players did not have to face such a situation? Absoutely. It’s just difficult all around. “

Toews also challenged the firing of Bowman and MacIsaac, who both separated from the organization after the findings of Jenner & Block’s investigation were made public on Tuesday.

“I mean, for me, Stan and Al – you know, make any argument you want, they’re not directly complicit in the activities that happened,” Toews said. “You know, it’s not for me to say whether they would have liked to handle it differently or not. I just know them as people and have had a long relationship and friendship with them, just being part of the Blackhawk family. People like Al and Stan have made the Blackhawks coming – for the league players who come here to play on this team – one of the special places to play hockey. For me, I have a ton of respect for them as people.

“Again, how the situation got worse, what was the timeline, what they knew – I can’t really comment on that. It’s obviously a tough day. Regardless of the mistakes that may have been made, for someone like Stan, who has done so much for the Blackhawks, and Al too, to lose everything that interests him and his livelihood as well, I don’t understand how that comes about. past. a way. To simply remove them from existence and [say], ‘That’s it, we’ll never hear from them again.’ So I have a lot of respect for them as people. They are good people. And again, when it comes to what they think about the situation, it’s not for me to comment.

When asked if he still had a chance to hook up with Beach since last Wednesday’s survey and interview, Kane replied that he hadn’t yet, but that he would like to contact his former teammate.

“I don’t know if he wants to hear from us or not, but I would like to contact him and tell him that I would like to know more then, in this situation, if I could have done something. to help him or not, ”he said.

“Obviously he’s been living with it for a long time, and it takes a lot of courage to put his name behind the story. ”


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