The player remains anonymous in the filing that comes just days after Kyle Beach revealed he was behind a similar 2021 lawsuit
Another Chicago Blackhawks player has come forward accusing the team’s former video coach of sexual assault.
A John Doe has anonymously filed a lawsuit against the NHL team alleging that they covered up the abuse by then-video coach Brad Aldrich to avoid bad publicity amidst their winning 2010 season, according to documents obtained by PEOPLE.
Aldrich did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
The filing claims that the Blackhawks put "Stanley Cup Championship aspirations ahead of the welfare of its players and provided cover to a sexual predator on its coaching staff who groomed, harassed, threatened and assaulted" the young player, who was 19 and 20 years old at the time of the incidents.
The complaint alleges that Aldrich's predatory behavior during the player's time at the organization included sending explicit photos to the player, offering to pay the player to receive sexual favors while Aldrich watched and threatening the player's career if he reported Aldrich's actions.
In the filing, the player accuses Aldrich of being "overtly and aggressively sexual" in his behavior toward him during his time at the organization, alleging that the former video coach had "direct and constant access to the plaintiff and used his authority as part of the coaching staff to groom, harass, threaten and assault" the player for "his own sexual gratification."
The complaint states that the player showed a text message he'd received from Aldrich — which contained a photo of the coach's genitals — to the secretary of the team's then-President John McDonough, who "reported the incident to the team management" but "no action was taken against Aldrich." The filing alleges that the lack of action is "in direction violation of the team's policies prohibiting harassment."
"The team leaders elected to place the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup ambitions ahead of player safety, including that of the plaintiff, and suppressed any investigation or other action that may affect the 'team chemistry' and/or the team's Stanley Cup aspirations," the filing claims.
Additionally, complaints from several other players were made known to another coach, named Vincent, who reported Aldrich's behavior to management and "urged" the team to report the allegations to the police, per the complaint. Coach Vincent was then instructed by the team's Senior Vice President Al MacIsaac to "take no action regarding the players' allegations."
The player's allegations against Aldrich were reported to the organization's human resources department only after the team won the Stanley Cup championship in June 2010, but no investigation occurred, the complaint states.
Aldrich was later offered the choice between resigning from the team or being fired and elected to resign. He went on to coach at the University of Notre Dame and Miami University. At the latter, he was accused of sexual assault and resigned in 2012. Aldrich then coached high schoolers in Michigan and was convicted of sexual contact with a minor, spent nine months in prison and was registered as a sex offender in the state, according to a press release from Romanucci & Blandin Law.
“This lawsuit aims to obtain justice for our client and hold the team accountable for the abuse and cover up that took place and was known within the Blackhawks organization," Antonio Romanucci, partner of the law firm representing the former player, said in the release.
"The Chicago Blackhawks were keeping a dirty secret in 2010 while they enjoyed public accolades and made enormous profits off their team’s Stanley Cup win. Team leaders were very aware they had an abuser on the coaching staff and they ignored their own policies — as well as human decency — and did nothing to report it, remove the abuser or protect their players."
Attorney Jason Friedl added, "It is difficult to explain the incredible impact this type of abuse has on a person, and the challenges it creates for their mental health, relationships and career. Our client’s professional aspirations were weaponized by this abuser who groomed and manipulated the young player for his own gratification and then threatened to destroy our client’s life-long ambition to play professional hockey in the NFL."
The Blackhawks told PEOPLE in a statement that they will "refrain from commenting with any additional specifics" on the Nov. 2 lawsuit as the investigation is ongoing.
However, the organization noted that they "take allegations of workplace misconduct and organizational response very seriously" and shared some of the changes they've made in response to previous complaints, which includes "completely rebuilding the leadership team," creating an "expansive mental health program" and instituting "new reporting mechanisms and training for all employees."
John Doe’s filing comes just days after Kyle Beach, who played on the 2010 Stanley Cup Blackhawks team, revealed that he had been the anonymous player who accused Aldrich of sexual assault in 2021.
On Oct. 25, Beach, 31, spoke to Canadian show SportsCentre about the relief and wave of emotions he felt after the Blackhawks published a report confirming the allegations he’d made about the former video coach — which included that Aldrich had invited Beach to his apartment and sexually assaulted him while threatening his position on the team.
“Yesterday was a day of many emotions. I cried, I smiled, I laughed,” Beach said of his reaction to the 107-page report. “Just a great feeling of relief and vindication, and it was no longer my word against everybody else’s.”
As for how he felt in the aftermath of the abuse, he said, “I was scared mostly. I was fearful. I had my career threatened. I felt alone and dark.”
Beach added, “I felt like I was alone and there was nothing I could do and nobody I could turn to for help. And I didn’t know what to do as a 20-year-old.”
Similarly to the new John Doe who filed a suit on Monday, Beach was on the Blackhawks’ Black Aces team, which the Nov. 2 filing describes as "prospective players who could play in the case of an injury, suspension or other reason that prevented a roster player from playing."
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The Blackhawks released a statement after Beach’s interview aired, applauding Beach’s “courage.”
"As an organization, the Chicago Blackhawks reiterate our deepest apologies to him for what he has gone through and for the organization's failure to promptly respond when he bravely brought this matter to light in 2010. It was inexcusable for the then-executives of the Blackhawks organization to delay taking action regarding the reported sexual misconduct. No playoff game or championship is more important than protecting our players and staff from predatory behavior," the statement continued.
The team stressed that they "have implemented numerous changes and improvements within the organization, including hiring a new leadership team that is committed to winning championships while adhering to the highest ethical, professional and athletic standards."
Following the report’s release, two senior officials at the team stepped down: General manager Stan Bowman and senior director of hockey operations Al MacIsaac, according to ESPN. Both Bowman and MacIsaac had been part of the organization when Beach’s initial complaints were shared in 2010.
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