e-mail from George Morris - Page 6 - The Horse Forum
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post #51 of 69 Old 08-08-2019, 08:22 PM
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The New York Times now has an article up on George Morris (by the same reporter who did their piece last year on Jimmy Williams):
Whispers of Sexual Abuse Tailed an Equestrian Legend for Decades. At 81, He Was Barred for Life.

(This is in addition to their article of a few days back, reporting the suspension.)
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post #52 of 69 Old 08-08-2019, 08:32 PM
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@gottatrot . That is about 1/3 of a quote of what McLain said on Facebook. Either post the whole quote or ask the mods to remove the quote. You missed a lot of what he said and changed what he said by posting only a little of it.

Quantity does not mean quality.
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post #53 of 69 Old 08-08-2019, 08:50 PM
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@gottatrot , the suicides are tragic. Of course, decades of research show that survivors of sexual assault are significantly more likely to experience and follow through on suicidal thoughts than people who have not been assaulted: https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/541218

I personally do not feel concerned about the link between USOC and SafeSport during its start up-if anything, I would imagine that leads it to be even more conservative when it comes to following through on disciplining itís former stars. Never good for the Olympic dream when your former coach is banned.

My bigger point is that USEF can ban people all day, but if you or I wanted to hire George Morris to come to our farm and teach us tomorrow, he can do that. Heís not in jail. Weíre not competing in sanctioned shows. So sure, his prestige and access to a certain caliber of student is gone, but he could charge us any amount of $$ weíd be willing to pay and come teach us if we didnít care about any of this.
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post #54 of 69 Old 08-08-2019, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by updownrider View Post
@gottatrot . That is about 1/3 of a quote of what McLain said on Facebook. Either post the whole quote or ask the mods to remove the quote. You missed a lot of what he said and changed what he said by posting only a little of it.
A partial quote is still a quote. I properly attributed the source link for anyone who wants to delve deeper. Notable news sources often give partial quotes. Long quotes get too lengthy for people to read, so I added the part pertaining to my points. Ward's intention is open for interpretation and I did not change anything he said, it was copied and pasted. I happen to agree with his entire quote, but it contains 788 words.

I agree completely with Ward's post and my interpretation of his post is that he supports what SafeSport is doing to prevent abuse but believes there should be openness about the investigative process and that the secretive nature of it harms everyone.
That is my opinion also.
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post #55 of 69 Old 08-08-2019, 10:19 PM
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I understand Morris is not being sent to jail. He could not be since the SafeSport approach violates the US Constitution - for criminal charges. But everything he built for a lifetime is gone. Does he deserve it? Maybe. Maybe not.

Based on centuries of English and American law, the process used was unfair. If innocent until proven guilty has been turned into guilty until you prove your innocence, then SafeSport violates ideas about justice that have stood for centuries.

There is a huge difference between hushing abuse up and assuming it has occurred. The middle ground between those two extremes is what our justice system has evolved to find - an approach that fully allows accusations, but requires letting the accused mount a defense. In public. SafeSport admits it rejects traditional ideas of fairness to interfere with its mission of cleaning up sports. I've written my representative to ask Congress to take another look at how SafeSport operates. Beyond that...I've said my piece, probably more often and more heatedly than needed. Time for me to drop off the thread.
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post #56 of 69 Old 08-09-2019, 06:22 AM
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What bothers me is the term 'sexual abuse'

This now seems to cover everything, from the worse to just brushing against a woman's body.

I had an older man step back in a store and nearly knock me over, just caught me off balance. He automatically grabbed my arm to stop me being felled, the whole time apologising profusely.
No harm done but his face was a picture when I said, " Perhaps I could accuse you of sexual abuse?"

We both laughed at the idea of it but, some do cry out for something so trivial.
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post #57 of 69 Old 08-09-2019, 09:49 AM
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Morris would not be getting such a severe reprimand for something as trivial as putting his arm around a woman.
His inappropriate behavior towards underage men has been a source of strong rumors for many years. Itís only his position in the elite of the equestrian world thatís protected him.
It isnít just one man thatís come forward to accuse him, its three men and one other man who doesnít claim to have been abused by him but was fully aware of what was going on.
These trainers are no different to teachers, if a teacher crosses the line theyíre immediately suspended.

The investigation took a year to complete, he isnít being sent to the guillotine, he isnít being sent to prison, he just canít continue to train people under the USEF banner.

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post #58 of 69 Old 08-09-2019, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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I'm curious about the "year to complete" portion because I've also seen 18 months but then I read a notice from safesport explaining the process and in that if I understood it right - they actually place the interim suspension BEFORE the investigation occurs and it doesn't become a "final" suspension until after the appeal which is 45 days. So does that mean it has just now begun to really be investigated? But if so, where did these other time frames come from?

Also - I am bothered by the number of people on all sorts of social media that keep talking about the rumors and whispers as if it were common knowledge. That means that everyone that was in the know chose not to file a report. Reading through the safesport information - it appears that it will view all potential problems so people should follow the "Know something - say something / hear something - say something". Especially since the reportee will be protected....

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post #59 of 69 Old 08-10-2019, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by farmpony84 View Post
. . . they actually place the interim suspension BEFORE the investigation occurs and it doesn't become a "final" suspension until after the appeal which is 45 days. So does that mean it has just now begun to really be investigated? But if so, where did these other time frames come from?
No, Morris's suspension is final, not interim. Apparently they decided an interim suspension was not necessary in this case.

I saw posted elsewhere, and thought those here might be interested, a quote from the reporter of the NY Times story on this - she actually cites a longer timescale, 2 years:

Quote:
I'm the author of the New York Times' investigation into George Morris. I have been reading social media, and wondering: Where did this false belief that Safe Sport treats people as "guilty before proven innocent" come from?

George Morris was the subject of a rigorous, two year investigation by ex-FBI and Special Victims investigators who make up Safe Sports team. It is no small thing to ban the most prominent face of a sport for life, it was done only because the facts were proved without a shadow of a doubt.

Just because you do not know what happened, does not mean it did not happen. Please feel free to be in touch with any questions, [email protected]
And also, back to farmpony's original note asking about the email, I'm really coming to see what a brilliant move that was on Morris's part - because he very clearly set the narrative by doing so. I see it parroted over and over, taking at face value that it was a single accusation from nearly 50 years ago, only because the PR release stated that. And it appears there are so many people who choose to look no farther.
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post #60 of 69 Old 08-10-2019, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by avjudge View Post
And also, back to farmpony's original note asking about the email, I'm really coming to see what a brilliant move that was on Morris's part - because he very clearly set the narrative by doing so. I see it parroted over and over, taking at face value that it was a single accusation from nearly 50 years ago, only because the PR release stated that. And it appears there are so many people who choose to look no farther.
Actually, I don't think there was information out there because I searched online to find out more details so I could have an opinion about it. What came up was nothing about Morris' apparently known-to-insiders history with young men, but rather only the information about Safesport and their statements about privacy and not being able to give any information. That is what I believe led many people to all of the speculation. The first information I heard was that GM had been 18 with a 17 year old girlfriend, which was obviously quite far off the mark.

I think Safesport could revamp their process and it would benefit both victims and accused (assuming some might be found innocent). As was mentioned, since there was no information regarding Morris, he was free to drive the dialog in favor of himself. Which created a lot of negative press for Safesport. This is not the first time this has happened with them. I am guessing this was not good for the victims either, to hear how many people were defending Morris.

Even though we know that many abusers blend well into society and seem "nice" to many who know them, hiding the shameful things they do, many people think they can discern if people are "good," or "bad," and so rush to defend people who are accused. This is a lot less likely to happen if some details are released, with careful protection of the victims' identities.

Quote:
(@Jaydee)..The investigation took a year to complete, he isnít being sent to the guillotine, he isnít being sent to prison, he just canít continue to train people under the USEF banner.
I'm not interpreting anyone as saying it is unjust to ban Morris or anything like that. What I think people are protesting is the process used by Safesport. If the press had not finally given more information, it would seem just as likely that he had been banned because someone complained he had a consensual relationship with a 17 year old when he was 18. Since Safesport does not give any details, there does not seem like there is anything to stop them from potentially ruining someone's reputation and career based on some flimsy complaint. All we know is that we are told they will be fair and follow good investigative techniques, but no one knows if that is true, or what checks and balances are in place.

I guess people could say in the grand scheme of things it is just sport, but for some it could mean their lifelong Olympic dreams would not come true. I'm definitely in favor of weighing things toward victims and victim advocacy, if there is an imbalance. However, I still believe there should be fairness for all. In the ER I've seen a woman kicking a police officer in the face and when he put his hands out to stop her she tried to get me to say I would be her witness that he had grabbed her inappropriately. I've know doctors that had to go to court and bring witnesses to prove they didn't rape someone in a busy ER with no private areas.
So while we absolutely need people to speak up and report things and to be advocates for victims, we also need to be aware that there are some people with mental health or behavioral issues who will accuse people falsely.

The impression I got from this thread was that people seem to feel it is either "support the victims," or "be fair to the accused." I don't understand why it should be one or the other. Why can't we have both? I feel strongly about victims being supported and people being encouraged to speak up and investigating anything that seems out of place. There needs to be more education and it is appalling that powerful people such as GM can get away with using their position to exploit others.
I also feel strongly about making sure people who are accused of something are treated fairly and not assumed to be guilty without supporting evidence.
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