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Coached into Silence

Christopher Gavagan
Christopher Gavagan, Dave Dodds
A Caucasian boy is holding a hockey stick and standing next to an elderly man with 'who are we protecting' sign labeled on.

Coached into Silence explores sexual abuse in youth sports. Filming since 2009, it tells the stories of a diverse group of athletes whom the system failed to protect. Far more sinister than those failures of prevention, we shed light on the organizational, institutional and legal systems which have conspired in attempting to silence the victims while protecting profits, reputations, and in some cases the predators themselves.

Healthy, strong, confident. You’ll hear many answers when parents are asked what they hope their child becomes from involvement in athletics. What you will never hear is that they hope their child becomes a victim. “I’ll never forget it.” former Sports Illustrated editor Don Yaeger told us, quoting a serial molester, “He called it ‘the last great candy store of opportunity’”.

Survivors from all levels including the professional and Olympic ranks reveal the Xs & Os of how these crimes occur, the aftermath, their way through the darkest times, and what can and must be done in terms of prevention and education. Filming has taken us across the continent, from Halls of Fame to the house of horrors where the director himself sat down, one-on-one with the predator he once called “Coach”.