Report: Blackhawks Fired AHL Head Athletic Trainer In November For Sexual Harassment

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Report: Blackhawks Fired AHL Head Athletic Trainer In November For Sexual Harassment

Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks organization is once again in the hockey headlines for every wrong reason possible. According to a report from ESPN’s Emily Kaplan and Jesse Rogers, the Blackhawks had fired Rockford IceHogs head athletic trainer D.J. Jones this past November for reported sexual harassment.

D.J. Jones had been with the Rockford IceHogs since the 2006-07 season, when the team was part of the UHL, prior to becoming the AHL affiliate of the Blackhawks. The incident reportedly took place in 2014 and was reported to the Blackhawks this past October.

The Blackhawks issued a statement on the matter, this from Kaplan and Rogers’ report:

“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.”

This sexual harassment report, which involved a member of the IceHogs ice crew according to Kaplan and Rogers, was brought to the team on October 27, the day after the Jenner and Block investigations findings were released regarding the sexual assault of former Blackhawks player Kyle Beach by former video coach Brad Aldrich and the same day that Beach came forward as “John Doe 1” in an interview with TSN. Jones was dismissed a few days later.

This information becomes public just days after Blackhawks Owner and Chairman Rocky Wirtz lashed-out at The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus and the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Thompson at the team’s recent Town Hall event for asking about the fallout from the Jenner and Block investigation and what the team was doing to move forward to protect players and employees. A pair of exchanges that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman called an emotional “moment” from Wirtz that overshadowed the work the Blackhawks organization is actually doing.

This report also comes on the heels of the news that the Blackhawks may be facing three new lawsuits against them, all stemming from the original investigation against the team and former video coach Brad Aldrich.

We’ll follow up on all of these stories as more information comes forward.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.