NHL, Bettman's handling of Blackhawks scandal reportedly upsetting sponsors

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Some major sponsors are upset at the NHL's mishandling of the Blackhawks sex abuse scandal, which has left the league's brand
Some major sponsors are upset at the NHL's mishandling of the Blackhawks sex abuse scandal, which has left the league's brand "significantly tarnished." (Getty)

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.

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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