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‘Real consequences:’ Former NHL player Georges Laraque on what needs to happen to make change in the league

By Christy Somos, CTVNews.ca writer

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    TORONTO, Ontario (CTV Network) — Former NHL player Georges Laraque has weighed in on the fallout from the Chicago Blackhawks sexual abuse scandal.

In an exclusive interview with TSN’s Rick Westhead on Wednesday, Kyle Beach, a former member of the Blackhawks farm system, came forward to reveal himself as “John Doe” in a sexual abuse complaint from May 2010 involving video coach Brad Aldrich.

The fallout from the interview has exposed failures at almost every level of professional hockey.

Speaking on CTV’s Your Morning Friday Laraque said that while scrutiny and consequences for the coaches and the league for inaction is warranted and necessary, the players who mocked Beach and subjected him to slurs should be also be subject to reprisals.

“If there is consequences for management, there has to be for players also,” Laraque said, calling the players actions “so wrong.”

Laraque said this speaks to the culture of hockey and the league, which he says has made great strides in inclusion and diversity, but there is more to do.

“It’s appalling, it’s disturbing,” Laraque said of Beach’s story. “If there are more athletes out there who are suffering in silence… I hope they can come forward and bring this to light.”

The former NHL player said that it is going to take “real consequences” for change to happen in the league, citing Florida Panthers Head Coach Joel Quenneville’s resignation.

Quenneville was head coach of the Blackhawks from 2008 to 2019, and Beach alleges that Quenneville knew about the abuse and chose to focus on the team’s Stanley Cup run instead.

For more of Laraque’s remarks, click the play button to watch the video.

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