Patrick Kane Speaks On Rape Allegations: 'I Will Be Absolved'
By Emma G. Gallegos in News on Sep 18, 2015 2:55PM
Just ahead of his first practice of the season with the Blackhawks, Patrick Kane spoke out for the first time on the disturbing rape allegations made against him.
At an uncomfortable press conference in South Bend, Indiana, where the Blackhawks are practicing on the Notre Dame Campus this weekend, Kane read from a pre-written statement, stating that he expected to be exonerated of all rape charges:
"This has been an incredibly difficult time for many people. I cannot apologize enough for the distraction this has caused my family, my teammates, this incredible organization and, of course, our fans. While I have too much respect for the legal process to comment on an ongoing matter,I am confident that when once all the facts are brought to light, I will be absolved of having done nothing wrong."
Here is that snippet of the press conference:
He deflected all of the non-hockey questions reporters asked of him, citing his ongoing legal issues. One reporter asked him if he planned to stop drinking, and he offered no comment on that either:
A woman accused Kane of overpowering her and raping her at his off-season home just outside Buffalo, New York this summer. So far Kane hasn't been charged in the case. There are discussions between his attorney and his accuser's, though they haven't reached any resolution. In the meantime, the local district attorney has punted the question of whether to charge him to a grand jury, which has already been rescheduled once.
Blackhawks team president John McDonough opened up the presser with an explanation of why they decided to invite Kane to return for the season:
“The Chicago Blackhawks organization prides itself in trying to make calculated and deliberate decisions based on information we have at the present time. We recognize that Patrick Kane is dealing with a very serious situation. Based on our discussions with his legal representatives, who are very close to this matter, we have decided to have Patrick join us for training camp. Furthermore, we have the utmost respect for the legal process.”
A women's advocacy group UltraViolet gave a statement to the Tribune, saying that Kane shouldn't be allowed on the ice until the case is resolved.
"Unless and until his name is cleared in this ongoing rape investigation, Kane shouldn't have the privilege of playing professional hockey," said Shauna Thomas, a UltraViolet rep. "Women are watching, and we won't allow the NHL or the Blackhawks to sweep a survivor under the rug for the sake of their bottom lines."
It wasn't just women's rights groups baffled by the conference. Sports columnists were puzzled. The Tribune's David Haugh writes, "The tone-deaf, 10-minute farcical Kane portion of the news conference served as Exhibit A why Kane never should have been allowed to practice until the conclusion of the criminal legal process."
Bruce Arthur with The Star in Toronto asks "would it have hurt the Blackhawks to leave Kane out with pay until it actually happens? Why do this? The Blackhawks sell heroes, pillars of the community. By inviting Kane to camp the Blackhawks made a choice, which is their right. But spare us the boosterism, and explain just why you did it."