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Hockey world commends Kyle Beach for coming forward as John Doe in Blackhawks sex abuse scandal

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Kyle Beach, pictured after being drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Kyle Beach, pictured after being drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

"Courage" is the word to describe Kyle Beach's decision to speak up.

Beach came forward on Wednesday as a victim in the Chicago Blackhawks' sexual-assault scandal involving the team's former video coach Bradley Aldrich in 2010.

Referred to as John Doe in legal documents, Beach revealed his identity in an interview with TSN's Rick Westhead. Strong, raw and heartbreaking, the 31-year-old former first-round pick shared his trauma and called for systemic change in the NHL.

"I’ve been a survivor, I am a survivor," Beach told Westhead. "And I know I’m not alone. I know I’m not the only one, male or female. And I buried this for 10 years, 11 years. And it’s destroyed me from the inside out. And I want everybody to know in the sports world and in the world that you’re not alone. That if these things happen to you, you need to speak up. Because there are support systems."

His bravery yielded support and praise from all corners of the hockey community.

Beach described the feelings of isolation and invisibility that followed the lack of action after news of the alleged assault made its way up to the Blackhawks' chain of command.

"I was scared, mostly. I was fearful. I had my career threatened. I felt alone and dark," Beach said. "Sorry, it’s tough to recall these moments. I felt like I was alone and there was nothing I could do and nobody I could turn to for help."

Eleven years later, Beach has found his voice — and the impacts of his courage have been felt all around the hockey world and beyond.

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