Column: The Chicago Blackhawks promised transparency and accountability after the 2010 scandal. Rocky Wirtz’s belligerent outburst in a town hall showed neither.

True story: I was supposed to be off Wednesday.

My Tribune colleague, Chicago White Sox beat reporter LaMond Pope, volunteered to cover Wednesday night’s Blackhawks home game against the Minnesota Wild.

But the Hawks scheduled a town hall at the United Center, simulcast on YouTube and Twitter, and I felt it was too important to miss.

I learned in advance Hawks officials would address fan-submitted questions, and among them were queries about TV play-by-play broadcaster Pat Foley, tickets and the general manager search.

And 2010.

The town hall should’ve been an opportunity for Hawks brass to put a button on an unfortunate saga in franchise history.

In May 2010, Hawks prospect Kyle Beach accused video coach Brad Aldrich of sexually assaulting him. But after senior managers discussed the allegation during a meeting, they scuttled the complaint until after the Hawks won the Stanley Cup, according to the findings of independent law firm Jenner & Block.

During a public briefing about the report in October, Hawks CEO Danny Wirtz said, “The report is both disturbing and difficult to read. It speaks for itself. Rocky (Wirtz, the Hawks chairman and Danny’s father) and our leadership team reviewed the report and we have had important and difficult conversations about how our organization will move forward.”

He added that they shared a letter with the Hawks community “that more specifically details numerous positive changes we’ve implemented throughout our organization since 2010, and especially over the past year. This includes robust policies, trainings and distinguished personnel to implement and oversee our operations. And most importantly, demonstrate the culture and values that we demand from all who represent the Blackhawks.”

In December, the Hawks settled with Beach, who had sued the team in May, for an amount that was kept confidential.

In a statement then, the Hawks said they “remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure that, going forward, this team will be a beacon for professionalism, respect and integrity in our community. We remain grateful for the trust and support of the Blackhawks community, and we promise to continue working every day to earn and maintain that trust.”

But Wednesday’s outburst by Rocky Wirtz in the cozy confines of the UC’s Concert Club was neither an example of professionalism nor a message that should engender trust that the Hawks are committed to doing the right thing by players and fans — or that they’ll come clean in the future even when it’s painful and difficult.

Wirtz appeared closed off, belligerent and defensive, characteristics that before Wednesday’s display of bombast had been more publicly associated with his father, the late Hawks Chairman Bill Wirtz, than himself.

It’s ironic that the head of an organization that claims it learned a lesson about transparency from the Beach episode — that claims it wants players to feel safe to come forward about abuses of any kind, that it wants to help eradicate the culture of “don’t tell” that is an anachronism in the “Me Too” era — laid bare a shocking level of abusiveness rarely seen in public from a team owner in any sport.

If you didn’t catch it as it was live-streamed, it began when Mark Lazerus of The Athletic posed a question to Danny Wirtz.

“I know we’re looking forward here, but we also have to look back,” Lazerus started. “I think much of what happened to Kyle Beach stemmed from a power imbalance between a coach and a player and the powerless of a player in that situation, so what are the Blackhawks doing, what have the Blackhawks done, what will the Blackhawks do to empower a player in a similar situation to make sure that doesn’t happen again?”

Rocky Wirtz jumped in: “I’m going to answer the question, not him. I think the report speaks for itself. The people that were involved are no longer here. We’re not looking back at 2010, we’re looking forward and we’re not going to talk about 2010.”

Lazerus: “I’m not talking about 2010.”

Rocky: “I know, and I’m not either. And we’re not going to talk about what happened. We’re moving forward. That is my answer. Now what’s your next question?”

Danny Wirtz tried to interject: “I can pick up, too, what we are doing today.”

Rocky shut him down: “No, that’s none of your business. That’s none of your business,” directed to Lazerus and other reporters assembled at a table. “What we’re going to do today is our business. I don’t think it’s any of your business.”

Lazerus: “How is it not my business?”

Rocky: “Because I don’t think it’s any of your business. You don’t work for the company. If someone in the company asked that question, we’ll answer it. And I think you should get onto the next subject. We’re not going to talk about Kyle Beach, we’re not going to talk about anything that happened. Now we’re moving on. What more do I have to say? You want to keep asking the same question to hear the same answer?”

Lazerus: “No.”

Rocky: “OK, ask the next question.”

Lazerus: “You’ve said enough right there.”

Rocky: “OK, good.”

As reporters, we have an obligation to ask questions that might be uncomfortable. This was the first time the Wirtzes were available to the media since the Jenner & Block briefing.

In what world did Rocky think questions about this subject wouldn’t be asked?

My original inclination, before the town hall, was to ask Rocky if he felt personal responsibility for what happened to Beach under his watch.

But seeing his reaction to Lazerus’ question, I believed that question would be received as combative, be met with a hostile response and do nothing to answer readers’ concerns.

So instead I said: “I’m sorry, but I’m a little mystified here. During the Jenner & Block briefing you guys talked about a change in culture and transparency and demonstrating the new culture and values that are going to protect players and protect the organization in the future. And it seems like the second that we ask a question about that, it’s met with resistance. So I’m going to ask it again.”

Rocky: “Answered it. I answered it and I told you to get off the subject.”

Me: “You didn’t tell me, you told him.”

Rocky: “I’m not going to bring up the report.”

Me: “We’re not asking about the report, we’re asking about the new ...”

Rocky: “I know, you’re asking about what the report was talking about, and I told you we’re moving on.”

Me: “We’re asking about the values and the protections for the future.”

Rocky: “I don’t care, I’m not going to answer this line of questions. Why don’t you ask about something else? Why don’t you ask about the GM search? Why don’t you ask about something else? Why do you bring up old business?”

Me: “OK, I will.”

Then I asked the panel about dwindling attendance at the United Center and how season ticket holders are losing resale value, diminishing their ability to make up the cost of their season packages on the secondary market.

Rocky: “I didn’t realize you were in our ticket department. Come on, come on. Let’s talk about all the negative stuff. Let’s talk about the paper and what the sports page looks like. Should I do that? And you can’t even get our late scores?”

Me: “Rocky, can I finish my question? They want to hold on because they value the Blackhawks, but they want to defray some of the costs. You’ve seen that attendance has been dipping. I want to know why you think attendance has been dipping and what can they do to maintain their value so that when they renew a package, they can defray some of their costs. That’s a fair question.”

Rocky: “Yes, it is, so Jaime can answer that.”

President of business operations Jaime Faulkner then conceded that “attendance is definitely not where we like it” and “it hasn’t been easy for season ticket holders.”

“If we want to create value for them, the first thing we have to do is put a winning product on the ice,” Faulkner said. “Until we do that, it’s going to be hard. But I think we’re well on our way working on that.”

She added that the team will make it easier to buy and sell tickets on the secondary market. But sadly, the story of the night wasn’t about empty seats.

It was about the big chair, the one occupied by Rocky Wirtz, and who’s really running things here.

It’s telling that hours after the dust settled, Rocky walked back his tirade.

“Tonight, at the Chicago Blackhawks town hall, my response to two questions crossed the line,” he said in a statement. “I want to apologize to the fans and those reporters, and I regret that my response overshadowed the great work this organization is doing to move forward. We have the right leaders and right processes in place to create a safe environment for our employees and players.”

Rocky also forwarded a personal apology to me through Faulkner, and Danny Wirtz approached me after the town hall and said he would be happy to talk about changes to team policies that ensure the cultural reset he has alluded to several times in press releases this season.

I believe he will honor that promise, though several fans have said they would like that discussion to occur in an open forum, preferably one in which they can interact.

Whether that happens — and how it happens — will illustrate whether Danny really plans to move the Hawks forward in a new, transparent way of handling business or if things will continue to be done the old-school Rocky way:

None of our business.