Blackhawks fired Rockford IceHogs trainer in November for alleged sexual harassment

The team was informed Oct. 27 of harassment by D.J. Jones that allegedly occurred in 2014. Jones was fired a week later, following an investigation.

SHARE Blackhawks fired Rockford IceHogs trainer in November for alleged sexual harassment

The Rockford IceHogs’ head trainer was fired in November.

Brad Repplinger/Rockford IceHogs Photos

The Blackhawks fired the head trainer of the Rockford IceHogs, their American Hockey League affiliate, in November for alleged sexual harassment.

D.J. Jones, who had been the IceHogs’ head trainer since 2006, allegedly harassed the victim in 2014, but the incident wasn’t reported to the Hawks until Oct. 27. The team suspended and investigated Jones before ultimately firing him Nov. 3.

The news wasn’t disclosed or known publicly until Sunday, when ESPN reported the harassment had been toward a member of the IceHogs’ ice crew.

‘‘Under our new leadership, we have made it crystal clear that nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our players and employees, and there is a zero-tolerance policy for any violation of our standards of conduct in our organization,’’ the Hawks said in a statement Sunday to the Chicago Sun-Times.

‘‘We have done a lot of work to ensure an environment where employees are encouraged to feel safe coming forward, even if it is about wrongdoing that occurred in the past. Recently, when allegations of sexual harassment in 2014 by D.J. Jones, the head athletic trainer for the Rockford IceHogs, were reported to the Blackhawks on October 27, 2021, we adhered to our new protocols and procedures, suspended Mr. Jones, conducted an in-depth investigation over 5 days and, following the conclusive results, terminated Mr. Jones on November 3, 2021.’’

The timing of the allegations being reported to the Hawks is notable because it occurred the day after the Jenner & Block report on the investigation into the Hawks’ sexual-assault cover-up in 2010 was released. That prompted the firing of then-general manager Stan Bowman.

John Walter was promoted to the IceHogs’ head-trainer job, and Patrick Chun was hired in December as the new assistant trainer.

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