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.
(@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.