“The best way forward, particularly to tell other survivors that they are not alone, is to be open and honest about this. When someone comes and knocks on your door asking about the number of abuse cases... give the information up. Be transparent."
As part of an ambitious reporting project, we've been researching for the past 3 years how Canadian sports organizations navigate abuse allegations.
Much more reporting on this to come in 2022, but sharing a few noteable items now.
Athletics Canada has received abuse complaints over past years from university student athletes.
Students filed complaints b/c they say their schools did not take their complaints seriously.
But AC couldn't act b/c coaches accused of misconduct not members of federation.
The U.S. Center for SafeSport has named 7 USA Hockey-registered coaches *this month alone* who have been sanctioned for violations that include sexual misconduct and having an intimate relationship with a minor.
In our reporting we have found numerous cases of adult coaches accused of abuse who have been allowed to quietly resign rather than be investigated.
Some of those coaches have later returned to Canadian sports organizations.
One track and field coach in Ontario who pleaded guilty to sexual assault in 2014 continued as a certified coach for 6 more years before two more women came forward with abuse allegations against him.
Most national sport organizations have no idea how many abuse complaints are being filed with provincial organizations or if they are properly investigated.
Of the 39 NSOs we contacted, only Judo Canada demands provincial federations advise it of abuse complaints.
Baseball Canada was the only NSO that refused outright to answer SafeSport questions.
Spokesman Adam Morrisette: “Baseball Canada is respectfully choosing not to respond to your questions or any further requests for comment.”
Baseball Canada in 2017/18 received $1.3M from feds.
Hockey Canada says it has a "button" for the Sport Canada-funded Canadian Sport Helpline on its website and complainants to helpline are directed to independent third parties.
I called the helpline Monday and today. Both times staff referred me to contact Hockey Canada directly.
Abuse is a societal problem and is an issue every sport is navigating.
Equestrian Canada says it has received 18 abuse complaints since 2015. It's also among the first Canadian national sports orgs to have a public registry listing those sanctioned.
equestrian.ca/about/governan…
Volleyball Canada confirms in email it will hand responsibility for intake of abuse complaints & investigations to Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada in 2022.
(Still unclear if SDRCC will have $ to probe historical complaints or complaints from athletes not on natl teams.)
One takeaway from covering abuse in sport is major difference between Canadian & US civil law.
Damages in CAN for pain & suffering generally capped at $400K. No cap in US.
Trend of low awards in CAN dates to 1957 when judge awarded plaintiff who was raped as 5-yr-old just $2K.

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More from @rwesthead

8 Nov
Tonight on @SportsCentre & @TSNHockey, you’ll hear from the mother of “John Doe 2,” the former high school hockey player sexually assaulted in 2013 by Brad Aldrich.
She’ll share how the abuse has affected her son & offer her reaction to Gary Bettman's comments on the scandal.
For viewers who miss this and for those outside Canada, we'll post this segment featuring John Doe 2's mother on YouTube. We'll also have a story up soon on TSN.ca that features video of the SportsCentre segment.
Read 6 tweets
30 Oct
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman had a 20-min video call with Kyle Beach this morning, Kyle's lawyer tells me.
Bettman started call saying, "Call me Gary."
Then said the NHL is sorry for the abuse that Beach suffered at the hands of former Blackhawks coach Brad Aldrich.
Kyle asked why NHL allowed the Blackhawks to commission an investigation into his abuse allegations.
Bettman answered that the NHL believed it was appropriate to allow CHI to do hire investigator, and the league planned review of findings at end of process, Kyle's lawyer told me.
Bettman promised the NHL would provide counselling services for Kyle and his family as long as needed.
Read 8 tweets
29 Oct
Kyle Beach: NHLPA Dr. Brian Shaw “told me he would handle it and make sure that Team USA was aware that Brad Aldrich is a sexual predator. After that one conversation, the NHLPA cut me loose. I never heard from them again.”
During the 2011 Women’s U18 championships in Stockholm, Kyle Beacn's agent says he phoned NHLPA ED Don Fehr with the warning that Kyle had allegedly been sexually abused by Brad Aldrich, who was working with Team USA at the tournament.
Kyle Beach said that if Don Fehr and Dr. Brian Shaw had done “what they are supposed to do, then that teenaged boy in Michigan probably does not get sexually assaulted."
Read 4 tweets
26 Oct
Former assistant US attorney Reid Schar outlines the scope of his investigation into the Blackhawks.
Schar said he interviewed 139 witnesses, including 21 players and five of nine Black Aces who were called up by the team.
Schar says Blackhawks officials held a May 23, 2010, meeting to discuss the allegations of sexual assault. Those present included John McDonough, Stan Bowman, Joel Quenneville, Jay Blunk and Kevin Cheveldayoff, Schar said.
Read 18 tweets
26 Oct
The Chicago Blackhawks say they wi release the findings of an independent investigation into allegations of sexual abuse and a cover up in the organization at 1 pm local time today.
Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz, CEO Danny Wirtz and lawyer Reid Schar are scheduled to speak during today's virtual press conference.
"Organisational changes" are coming as a result of Schar's investigation, @MarkLazerus reports, citing multiple unnamed sources.
We've reported 16 stories so far on the allegations of sexual abuse & a coverup within the Blackhawks organization.
As we await the NHL team's comments, want to say I appreciate that @TSN_Sports fosters a culture where we can pursue important journalism, which can come at a cost.
Read 5 tweets
22 Jul
I'm using an older version of Zoom and not in a position to immediately update so I didn't have ability to "raise hand" to ask a question. However, the Blackhawks asked media for questions before the media call and I did submit four.
None were addressed or answered.
My questions:
Again, that CHI/NHL won't commit to making the Blackhawks investigation report public is hard to reconcile.
The NBA's Dallas Mavs committed to making public a 2018 independent investigation after charges of a toxic culture.
That report is still online:
lowenstein.com/media/4556/the…
Zoom updated. More hand raising to come.
Read 4 tweets

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