SUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) - Former Chicago Blackhawks player Kyle Beach alleges that Florida Panthers Head Coach Joel Quenneville, who was then the head coach for Chicago, covered up his sexual assault by an assistant coach back in 2010.
Beach spoke out in an emotional interview on Canadian TV Wednesday night.
“I buried this for 10 years, 11 years, and it has destroyed me from the inside out,” said Beach.
According to Beach, Quenneville was part of the chain of command informed of his assault.
“I felt sick to my stomach,” said Beach. “I reported this, and I was made aware that it made it all the way up the chain of command.”
Beach accused the 62-year-old of looking the other way.
“I witnessed meetings right after I reported it to James Gary that were held in Joel Quenneville’s office,” said Beach. “There is no way he can deny knowing it.”
The Blackhawks were fined $2 million this week after an investigation revealed the team mishandled the sex assault allegations.
The team’s general manager has resigned.
Meanwhile, Quenneville was behind the benches for Wednesday night’s game.
Quenneville announced he will meet with the NHL Commissioner Thursday.
“Before we get started, I just want to let you know that tomorrow I’ll be meeting with Gary Bettman,” said Quenneville. “I won’t comment any further ’til the appropriate time after meeting with the commissioner.”
“There’s no question that the events described in yesterday’s report are serious and severe,” said Panthers General Manager Bill Zito.
Back in July, Quenneville called the allegations “clearly serious.”
“I first learned of these allegations through the media this summer,” said Quenneville.
Beach said that is not true.
“The playoffs, the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Stanley Cup were more important than sexual assault,” said Beach.
Going public after 11 years, Beach hopes this can be prevented from happening again.
“I wanna make sure in any way possible this does not happen to somebody else,” said Beach.
The accused former assistant coach was allowed to leave the Blackhawks.
The Panthers declined to comment, pointing to the coach’s meeting with the commissioner.
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