Questions of Complicity - Guelph Alumni Speak
|The XC||Mar 8, 2020|
On February 8, Michael Doyle and The Globe and Mail reported that former University of Guelph head cross-country coach Dave Scott-Thomas groomed Megan Brown, one of his former athletes, for sex, from the time she was 17.
In the month following the allegations, Guelph alumni have been criticized by online posters for being complicit in the culture of silence that their coach created.
In this episode, Alex Cyr explores this idea of complicity, by talking with three guests:
A Guelph alumna and Ph.D candidate in Neurophysiology at University of British Columbia, Mildren was in shock when she heard about the allegations against her coach. She made a Facebook post in support of other alumni who, likely, were feeling the same way. In just a few hours, the comments section of her post was riddled with comments about whether or not Gryphon athletes and alumni should be considered complicit in the apparent win-at-all-cost culture that existed at Guelph. Here, she tells us why she finds this assumption of complicity unfair, and urges us to focus the conversation on the betterment of running in Canada.
Dr. Gretchen Kerr
Kerr is the Vice Dean of Programs at University of Toronto's School of Graduate Studies and Professor, specializing in athlete maltreatment, coaching practices and women in coaching. Here, she speaks to the danger of victim blaming, athletes’ perceived powerlessness in the face of toxic culture, and the future of safe sport in Canada.
A member of the Gryphons cross-country team between 2009 and 2013, who came back to be an assistant coach between 2016-2018, Biewald shares her experience running under Scott-Thomas. She tells us why it was difficult for a varsity athlete at Guelph to recognize that something was wrong.