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Stick To Sports - A Response to Chicago's Response

Jashvina Shah
Jashvina Shah
TW: Sexual Assault, Suicidal Ideation

I’m so tired.
And not just because of the Blackhawks or the NHL.
I carry around this everlasting exhaustion, exacerbated through anxiety, depression and knowing that part of myself is already dead.
I cry often over what I’ve lost – years, happiness, covering women’s hockey, safety, to name a few. I can’t walk into bars with loud music. Where I used to run through doors with little fear, I now stop at every entrance. When I once dreamed of traveling the world, I wonder if I can survive on my own. I think back to that year in New York, dreaming of walking into the East River. I am scared of going back to that place. I’m weary. I am forever changed. My confidence, my self, have both been shattered.
It’s been four and a half years since I was sexually assaulted. But there is no moving on. There will never be moving on because, even if I forget about what happened, even if I never think about it – and I rarely do – I will always carry it around with me. It’s now part of who I am.
The sadness, like a dull burden on my heart, remains even as I write this. It makes me want to stop, to close my computer and walk away.
Because I am also tired of repeating myself.
Like most others, I watched the two clips from Chicago’s town hall meeting where Rocky Wirtz berated two reporters (the clips are linked below.) I watched where Wirtz had the audacity to tell Mark Lazerus that the organization has “moved on” and he should stop asking about 2010.
Moved on? How can you move on when Kyle Beach will carry this for the rest of his life? How can you move on when every victim of sexual assault will never get that opportunity?
How easily he dismissed pain that will stay with us for a lifetime.
The question Lazerus asked was not difficult at all, but elicited a strong, defensive response from Wirtz where he said “the people involved are no longer here. … we’re not going to talk about what happened.”
Danny Wirtz tried to answer, but Rocky said, “I don’t think it’s any of your business. You don’t work for the company. … We’re not going to talk about Kyle Beach, we’re not going to talk about what happened.”
Another reporter, Phil Thompson, picked up the line of questioning expertly, pressing Wirtz about the change of culture and calling out Wirtz’ defensiveness.
Wirtz responded: “I think you’re out of line to ask these line of questions. Why don’t you ask about the GM search?”
Thompson followed up by telling Wirtz that he’s spoken with fans having difficulty selling their tickets, and Wirtz interrupted him by questioning its validity.
Rocky said: “Want to talk about your paper and what the sports page looks like? Should I do that?”
The only thing out of line here is Rocky’s responses, which sound like that of a spoiled child who has never been told no. It is entirely valid to ask an organization that covered up sexual assault what changes they have made. This is also everyone’s business. And if Wirtz wants to change the topic to the GM search, let’s ask him why several members from the 2010 team are being brought back to help with said GM search.
That, combined with Chicago’s initial responses to the cover up, plus Wirtz’ outbreak all prove one thing – Chicago has not changed.
At all.
I cannot say this surprises me. The league also showed it did not care, so why would the Blackhawks? Who is there to force them into making tangible changes and, at the very least, being transparent?
People often ask me if I think hockey can change. I sadly tell them no, because the people in charge do not want it to change. Wirtz is a perfect example. If he truly cared about change, he would have answered the question gracefully. He would not wish to move on, and instead would acknowledge the pain Chicago has caused and that it is necessary to never move on the ensure it never repeats.
I am infuriated, but mostly I am sad and apprehensive for those who will get hurt because the NHL, the Blackhawks and many more refuse to take tangible action. My heart goes out to the survivors, but my heart also goes out to those within the organization, within hockey, who will never feel safe.
I do not want this to happen again.
But how can we prevent it, if we fail to acknowledge how it happened in the first place?
- Jashvina
Wally Maz
@MarkLazerus Here’s the full segment/video. Just ridiculous from Rocky Wirtz. https://t.co/9k9QxKW0gI
Wally Maz
@MarkLazerus And now he goes after @_phil_thompson. Absolutely insane from Rocky Wirtz. Smh. https://t.co/dMHYOHUbkQ
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Jashvina Shah
Jashvina Shah

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