U.S. Center for SafeSport’s PR Spear Carrier, Dan Hill, Is Straight Out of the USA Swimming Troll-the-Critics Playbook

Published August 6th, 2018, Uncategorized

 

by Irvin Muchnick

 

Depending on which tweet or email you care to parse, Virginia flack Dan Hill claims either that he works for nothing on sexual abuse matters or that his company, Hill Impact, does get paid but — heavens — loses money on its contract for public relations services for the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

Regardless of which it is, I can say that when Hill  started trolling abuse victim Sarah Ehekircher and then making up a wild smear about me, I’d seen this movie before.

The SafeSport Center was supposed to be undertaking a better and more U.S. Olympic Committee-consolidated version of the job USA Swimming and other USOC national sport governing bodies have been doing in investigating and eradicating abuse. But for those of us who have been around the block a couple of times, it’s the same old playbook with the identical X’s and O’s. The go-to call: Whenever the organization gets confronted with an inconvenient truth, be sure to attack the messenger.

In 2013, USA Swimming’s six-figure goons at Ground Floor Media of Denver went after my colleague at the time, Tim Joyce. See “Groundhog Day for Ground Floor Media — USA Swimming’s Consultant in Crisis Media Counseling and Smearing Truth-Telling Journalists,” August 7, 2013, http://concussioninc.net/?p=8014.

In 2014, the gang at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency — the USOC drug police, often cited as a model of the new SafeSport Center sex police — got uncomfortable with our reports about how USADA’s CEO, Travis Tygart, had cut his teeth as a lawyer covering up abuse cases for USA Swimming. Tygart’s former communications chief weighed in on Twitter to call my reporting “an odd reach.” An odd reach indeed — by Danny Chocron, the molesting assistant swim coach at Tygart’s alma mater, the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida (where Tygart also had previously worked as a coach), who jumped bail on criminal charges and fled back to his native Venezuela. Coordinating swimming’s National Board of Review banning of Chocron despite the evident conflict of interest — and ensuring that nothing about Chocron got publicized to the swimming families of the world — was one of Tygart’s crowning achievements as an associate at the law firm now called Bryan Cave. See “Ex-Flack For USADA’s Travis Tygart Trolls Concussion Inc. Following Questions About Tygart’s Previous Work on Sexual Abuse Cases As a Lawyer For USA Swimming,” September 6, 2014, http://concussioninc.net/?p=9427.

Now comes Sarah Ehekircher with the nerve to point out that she got lied to and sandbagged by a SafeSport Center con man named Michael Henry, who used to call himself “director of legal affairs” and changed that to “director, investigations & outcomes.”

Asked to comment, PR maven Hill said he couldn’t because it’s an active investigation — then proceeded to unload anyway, sotto voce. He can’t respond, he moaned, “to misrepresentations.”

Then Hill and a mixed martial arts fighter he manages, Heather Hardy, went after Ehekircher on Twitter. The no-comments multiplied — in Hardy’s case, to telling Ehekircher, “Fuck you.”

I wonder, Dan Hill: How much do you get paid for a gig like that?

Complete related links: http://concussioninc.net/?p=13125.