As the fallout continues from the findings of an independent report on alleged sexual abuse by a Chicago Blackhawks video coach more than a decade ago, much of the discussion has focused on hockey culture and how it was possible that the situation collapsed. the carpet for so long.
Toronto attorney, former hockey player and sexual assault survivor Greg Gilhooly told 680 CJOB that while the culture is slowly changing, there is still a lot of work to do.
Former Winnipeg Hockey Coach Faces Long List of Historic Sexual Assault Charges
Gilhooly, a star goalie as a young athlete in Winnipeg, fell victim to hockey coach and serial abuser Graham James in the late 1970s, derailing his hockey career and causing decades of trauma.
The details in the Blackhawks report, he said, paint Chicago’s top officials in a terrible light, and that there is no question that top executives like general manager Stan Bowman had to lose their jobs as a result.
“Nobody in that room, hearing that information, thought of the victim,” Gilhooly said.
“All the people in that room were thinking about two things: win the Stanley Cup, what was best for the team, win the Stanley Cup, and ‘what do I do to protect myself and advance my career?”
Gilhooly said the issue of sexual abuse in hockey, through cases like his and many others, has become well known, and if the Blackhawks’ top brass really wanted to save their jobs, they should have done so immediately. .
“Enough of these things have happened, where an executive knows, out of sheer self-interest, that (now) ‘the right thing to do for my career and for my team is to step up.’
In addition to the resignation of Bowman, the general manager who guided the team to three Stanley Cup championships, and other front office figures, the scandal has also affected former Blackhawks personnel, including the general manager of the Winnipeg Jets. , Kevin Cheveldayoff, who served as an assistant general manager in Chicago. at the time of the incident.
The Blackhawks were also fined $ 2 million by the NHL for mishandling the allegations.
Gilhooly said there are varying degrees of culpability among Blackhawks executives, and that things may not have been as clear-cut at the time as they are now, in hindsight, with all the details being made public.
“I have some sympathy for a guy like Kevin Cheveldayoff, who wasn’t the highest ranking person in the room when the information came out,” Gilhooly said.
Jets general manager, along with former Chicago head coach now behind the Florida Panthers bench, Joel Quenneville, will meet with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in the near future.
Winnipeg Jets general manager says he was unaware of the allegations against the former Blackhawks coach
In a statement Tuesday, Cheveldayoff said: “I have shared everything I know about this matter as part of my participation in the Jenner & Block investigation. That is reflected in today’s research report.
Also, I look forward to my conversation with Commissioner Bettman as soon as possible to continue to cooperate fully with the National Hockey League. I will reserve any additional comments until after that conversation has taken place. “
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault … help is available from the following Manitoba crisis lines:
Klinic Crisis Line: (204) 786-8686
Senior Abuse Support Line: 1-888-896-7183
Helpline for children: 1-800-668-6868
Blackhawks GM Resigns After Sexual Assault Investigation On Team; Jets’ Cheveldayoff named in a report
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