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NHLPA chief Donald Fehr apologizes to Kyle Beach

Sep 8, 2021; Cooperstown, New York, USA; Donald Fehr makes the acceptance speech for the late Hall of Fame inductee Marvin Miller during the 2021 National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

National Hockey League Players’ Association executive director Donald Fehr became the latest figure in the Chicago Blackhawks scandal to apologize to Kyle Beach, saying “I am truly sorry.”

Fehr issued a statement early Thursday morning, hours after Beach identified himself as the “John Doe” who levied sexual assault allegations against former Blackhawks video coach Bradley Aldrich in 2010.

Beach was critical of Fehr by name during his interview with TSN.

“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 in the statement.

“Mr. Beach stated that several months after the incident he told someone at the NHLPA the details of what happened to him. He is referring to one of the program doctors with the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. While this program is confidential between players and the doctors, the grave nature of this incident should have resulted in further action on our part. The fact that it did not was a serious failure. I am truly sorry, and I am committed to making changes to ensure it does not happen again,” Fehr wrote.

This is what Beach told TSN during his Wednesday interview:

“I know I reported every single detail to an individual at the NHLPA, who I was put in contact with after,” he said. “I believe two different people talked to Don Fehr. And 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. I don’t know how he can be in charge. If that’s what he’s going to do when a player comes to you and tells you something, whether it be abuse, whether it be drugs, whether it be anything, you’re supposed to have the players’ backs and they definitely didn’t have mine.”

In the aftermath of Tuesday’s damning report, the NHL levied a $2 million fine against the Blackhawks for their “inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response” to the matter.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman resigned after the report was released. Senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac also left his position.

Beach, 31, was Chicago’s first-round draft pick (No. 11 overall) in 2008. He now plays professionally in Germany.

–Field Level Media

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