Welcome to Deadspin’s IDIOT OF THE YEAR festivities! Nos. 50 through 11 are available for your enjoyment here. And our top 10 thus far:
10. Thom Brennaman
9. Ted Cruz
8. Rob Manfred
7. Kyrie Irving
6. Sage Steele
5. Urban Meyer
4. Chicago Blackhawks
It takes a lot for a hockey organization to be bigger idiots than the Montreal Canadiens, who knowingly drafted convicted sex offender Logan Maillot and apparently can’t find someone capable of giving rudimentary language tips en français.
But the Chicago hockey team is up to the task. The club with the racist logo and team name covered up a sexual abuse scandal involving video coach Brad Aldrich during a Stanley Cup run in 2011, with coach Joel Quenneville and team GM Stan Bowman deciding that sports was more important. The franchise all but doxxed the victim after the results of its investigation were released.
As Deadspin’s own Jesse Spector eloquently put it:
Not that Quenneville and (former assistant GM Ken) Cheveldayoff shouldn’t go down over this — they should. It’s just that the Chicago franchise should’ve been burned to the ground over this, and the earth salted where the United Center once stood.
Kyle Beach bravely came forward to say he was a victim. While most players on the team denied knowing about the situation, stories of players taunting Beach blow up that lie. The team, of course, did what NHL teams do, which is try to make these things disappear while victim blaming. Beach, a former first-round pick, never did get into an NHL game. Aldrich was able to go on to get a job coaching youth, and he assaulted a child. All this in the name of winning hockey games. Aldrich even got a day with the Stanley Cup!
Quenneville did go down, and Bowman did, too. Cheveldayoff is still the GM of the Winnipeg Jets. Jonathan Toews, still team captain, and ever problematic superstar Patrick Kane (with his own past sexual assault allegations) came out to defend Bowman and Quenneville and team officials.
Given the accusations in Kane’s past, his comment that Bowman “did a lot for me” seem troubling at best:
“I knew Stan very well. I knew him as a great man. He did a lot for me personally, coming into the league and over the course of my career, I’m sure he would’ve handled things a little bit differently nowadays.”
It doesn’t end with the Chicago hockey team, as NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA President Donald Fehr also appear complicit in trying to make the whole thing go away.