The Chicago Blackhawks announced in a Tuesday press conference that Stan Bowman is out as the team’s general manager, after the team released the findings of an independent investigation into how coaching staff handled sexual assault allegations.
The investigation focused on accusations that Bowman and other executives declined to report allegations of assistant coach Bradley Aldrich sexually assaulting a Blackhawk player to the Chicago police in May 2010. The former player, identified as John Doe, filed a lawsuit against the franchise in May 2021 for an alleged non-consensual sexual encounter with Aldrich, in which Aldrich threatened Doe he “would never play in the NHL ‘or walk’ again” if he did not “act like he enjoyed the sexual encounter.” After Doe reported the alleged assault to a team counselor, there was a meeting among Blackhawk executives, including Bowman and then-President John McDonough, to discuss Aldrich’s “unwanted sexual advance.” Bowman remembered that McDonough, who left the team in 2020, said “he would handle the situation,” eventually resulting in Aldrich resigning to avoid a formal investigation, and no legal authorities were informed of the incident between him and Doe.
In a statement released Tuesday, Bowman acknowledged he knew of “potential inappropriate behavior,” but blamed McDonough for not “handling the matter promptly.” The Blackhawks admitted responsibility for the situation, saying in a statement: “It is clear the organization and its executives at that time did not live up to our own standards or values in handling these disturbing incidents. We deeply regret the harm caused to John Doe and the other individuals who were affected and the failure to promptly respond. As an organization, we extend our profound apologies to the individuals who suffered from these experiences.”
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