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NHL sponsors are reportedly displeased with how the league has handled the Chicago Blackhawks sexual abuse scandal, according to Rick Westhead of TSN.
This past week, commissioner Gary Bettman announced the Blackhawks would be fined $2-million for covering up the sexual abuse that was perpetrated by ex-video coach Bradley Aldrich onto 2008 first-round pick Kyle Beach. Bettman, however, did not hand out any discipline to anybody who was involved in covering up the abuse.
This omission has allowed Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to remain with the organization and permitted ex-Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville to appear behind the bench even after Beach stepped forward as John Doe. Quenneville, instead, was allowed to resign from the position under his own accord, as was former Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman.
Among those dissatisfied by the league's lack of action and its subsequent questionable PR tactics are its sponsors.
Spoke today to sports marketing exec who told me multiple sponsors have "put the NHL on notice" to improve response to Blackhawks abuse scandal.
NHL brand significantly tarnished over past week, exec says, adding some sponsors unhappy with league's crisis management.
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) November 6, 2021
Westhead notes that multiple sponsors "put the NHL on notice" with regards to improving its response to the scandal, while also stating the the "NHL brand [has been] significantly tarnished over [the] past week." The sponsors' main point of contention is how poorly the NHL's crisis management has been throughout this process.
In the eyes of some of its sponsors, the NHL needs to do a lot more than deflect right now. We'll see if this ends up being just talk or starts actually hitting the league in the wallet.
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