But sports do provide predators with several advantages, says Chris Gavagan, a Brooklyn filmmaker who is working on a documentary called “Coached into Silence,” about the abuse he says he suffered at the hands of his roller hockey coach.
“Kids look at coaches to teach them how to do the things their sports heroes do,” Gavagan says. “Sports are all about hero worship and kids will do whatever their coaches tell them. They are craving role models and there is more of an imbalance of power in sports than in other relationships.”
But filmmaker Gavagan points out that background checks will only flag men or women who have already been arrested for sexual abuse or other crimes.