The Chicago Blackhawks — still reeling from internal findings that team officials glossed over the alleged sex abuse of one of their own players — fired a minor league trainer accused of sexual harassment, officials said Sunday.
Longtime Rockford IceHogs head athletic trainer D.J. Jones was terminated in November for sexual harassment that allegedly occurred in 2014, though the action wasn’t made public until Sunday.
"Recently, when allegations of sexual harassment in 2014 by D.J. Jones, the head athletic trainer for the Rockford IceHogs, were reported to the Blackhawks on October 27, 2021, we adhered to our new protocols and procedures, suspended Mr. Jones, conducted an in depth investigation over 5 days and, following the conclusive results, terminated Mr. Jones on November 3, 2021," according to a team statement.
Kyle Beach breaks silence on Chicago Blackhawks' sexual assault caseOct. 28, 202101:25
Jones could not be immediately reached for comment Monday.
The Original Six franchise was rocked last year when an independent probe found that it was aware of allegations that onetime video coach Brad Aldrich sexually abused former Blackhawks forward Kyle Beach.
The report found that top Blackhawks officials took no immediate action in 2010 as the team was in the midst of a playoff run that culminated in capturing the Stanley Cup.
General manager Stan Bowman resigned as a result of the probe.
“Under our new leadership, we have made it crystal clear that nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our players and employees, and there is a zero-tolerance policy for any violation of our standards of conduct in our organization,” the Blackhawks said Sunday.
“We have done a lot of work to ensure an environment where employees are encouraged to feel safe coming forward, even if it is about wrongdoing that occurred in the past,” the statement said.
Aldrich's name has since been obscured from the Stanley Cup, which has the engraved names of members of championship teams.
According to the probe, Aldrich did not deny that a sexual encounter with the player occurred, but he contended that it was consensual.