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George Morris on the SS list

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    Originally posted by Angela Freda View Post

    Read. The. Charges.
    It’s mean to ask people to read. We need to rehash everything all the time in long verbose posts.


      Originally posted by FlaxenChestnut View Post

      I just saw this documentary a few days ago and it was chilling. A perfect exposition on how well-liked, supposedly ‘nice’ guys get away with heinous sexual assaults on minors and individuals over which they have power. .
      I think PART (not all) of the backlash here is because people want to believe that they'd be able to spot an abuser. That they'd prevent it, that there's something obvious about them. That it would never happen to them or their family because they're attentive. This is the origin of "stranger danger" and the idea of creeper perverts.

      But the reality is that most abusers are people in positions of trust. People that win the trust of parents, who give very little or no reason to suspect them. That is much harder for us to protect against or see. And when an accused person has won the trust of so many people and become central to their lives in some respect, like GM is central to our sport, the dissonance that creates is just explosive.

      People will REFUSE to believe it just because believing it means they have to call in question so much about their judgement and belief in other people, and their perceived safety from predators.

      I do believe some folks have really genuine feelings and concerns over due process, etc, but I believe MUCH of the outcry and anger is more related to the other thing, and people are latching onto "ss is a witch hunt!" because digging deeper into their reaction is not something they want to do.

      Here's what I do know - if SS came out with this, they've been investigating for a long time. There has to have been some kind of corroboration of the accusations and an investigation involving interviews with people who knew him and/or the victim at the time. While everyone talks about DNA and "proof," testimony IS LEGAL EVIDENCE not only to SS but in a court of law.

      I also know there is an extremely good chance a person I know who experienced mental/emotional abuse at the hands of GM, is very likely to be reading this thread. If he is, I'm thinking of you right now and hope you're OK. And I really hope all this commentary is not hurting you.
      "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

      My CANTER blog.


        caffeinated This is a fantastic post. Thanks for taking the time to write it up.


          I understand there is going to be a lot of mourning about the fall of a famous equestrian's lifelong career. It is indeed sad, however, we must always be cognizant of what the victim(s) have gone through. It is entirely possible that the victim(s) who put this ban into motion have suffered for decades from PTSD, low self esteem, and many other debilitating effects from being abused. To watch an abuser thrive while inwardly suffering has to be one of the worst forms of torture. So for those defending GM, I understand your loyalty, but please, please consider the feelings of the victim(s). It takes a lot of bravery to come forward and open yourself up to attack and ridicule on top of the already existing suffering, and I doubt anyone would ever take that endeavor lightly.
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            Originally posted by Dressurfrau View Post

            Robert was and still is very handsome but asked if George was ever inappropriate with him either time he was there, he will tell you NEVER. George will say, like most men his or even my age, the 70’s especially were a crazy time and men and women, gay and straight, did crazy things. It was not called the “sexual revolution” for nothing. But retroactively attempting to judge one’s behavior in today’s world based on those times, what was for instance, going on in Studio 54 or Studio 1, is not only impossible but is unfair.

            Now, rape is rape, regardless of the decade in which it happened and anyone found guilty of it should be charged with the crime. But something deemed “sexual abuse” today, brought by an accuser who may themselves be worthy of a stronger look into their behavior and who most likely would have to have been alone when this allegedly took place, put into the context of almost 50 years ago, is setting up a precedent for disaster."
            Seriously! So, because GM did not behave inappropriately with ONE handsome student, it never happened with any of his students? And since when is going to Studio 54 the same as acting as a sexual predator. When my daughter's high school coach was found to have had a sexual relationship with one of his athletes, did I think to myself, well, my daughter is beautiful but he didn't molest her, therefore he's not a predator?

            Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
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              Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
              George isn't a pedophile, to split hairs, TooManyBays you are correct.

              He's an ephebophile. Also illegal. Also, what was the trigger word on rob gage? appalling?
              Thank you ladyj79 for teaching me a new word!


                Originally posted by boosma47 View Post
                SS standards are not the same as the rule of law yet yield tremendous power over those accused. This issue came up with the Gage case and holds true for this and all others. GHM has been accused, judged and sentenced without a trial, without being afforded the right to confront his accuser. This is basic to our system of justice, yet SS seems to have created its own system with the power to ban, ruin, isolate those accused based on unproven allegations. If one has a credible case, bring it before a judge and jury. Don't hide behind the skirts of SS.
                Your statement that I have bolded is untrue. It's a misconception spewed frequently by those in opposition to SafeSport, yet is clearly disproven in the SafeSport policies:


                A simplified graphic can be found here:


                From pp. 23-24 of the policies:

                The parties to an investigation and arbitration are the Center and the Respondent. During the investigation, the Claimant and Respondent will have an opportunity to submit information and relevant evidence, to identify witnesses who may have relevant information, and to submit questions that they believe should be directed by the investigator to each other or to any witness.
                Penalties like "permanently ineligible" are not handed down by SafeSport lightly.

                Also, after Rob Gage's death, I learned a wealth of knowledge about the inner workings of SafeSport. One of the greatest things I learned is that the use of temporary suspensions and act of "blasting names," which was originally done if the original intake process revealed a credible complaint, has more or less been abandoned.
                Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                  Originally posted by mvp View Post

                  So...... 30 years back would be OK?

                  Do you have a set of acts of sexual harassment or assault and a time frame for the statute of limitations in mind? When asked to defend those general claims about "different times," I find it becomes hard to sound credible.
                  In legal theory, there are important reasons that statutes of limitations exist for almost all crimes--and none of them are 50+ years long (with the exception of murder). A main reason is that for an accused to defend himself/herself, s/he needs access to witnesses, documentary evidence, etc. around the time of the crime. When you are getting 50 years out, most of the possible witnesses will have died or will be un-locatable. That is fundamentally unfair to the accused.

                  I don't know how old you are, but I'm in my 50's. Suppose some tribunal accused me of assault and battery 35 years ago by shoving someone during a spat in high school. I'd be in a position of saying, (1) that doesn't sound like something I'd do; but (2) I don't remember much about high school; (3) I barely remember any kids from high school and certainly couldn't find them now to be witnesses for me.

                  People generally understand the rationale for statutes of limitations when it comes to other crimes, but then when it comes to sexual harassment, they are willing to throw legal safeguards out the window.

                  All of that said, I don't know anything about GM's past conduct, and I am troubled when anyone thinks he has license to bully and belittle other people (I've certainly had bosses like that), let alone take advantage of them sexually.

                  I would be very interested to see if this ends up in a court of law.


                    Originally posted by 541hunter View Post

                    The SafeSport and USEF sanctions list literally say sexual misconduct involving a minor.
                    Misconduct is pretty broad.
                    I’m not supporting his behavior. I don’t think there is a single person who thinks GM is some saint. But I also think it’s really important to make sure people understand that there is more than just sexual assault that is banned by SS.


                      TooManyBays sexual misconduct involving a minor. Still broad, but definitely not so broad as to be incomprehensible to most.
                      Let me apologize in advance.


                        Originally posted by TooManyBays View Post

                        Misconduct is pretty broad.
                        I’m not supporting his behavior. I don’t think there is a single person who thinks GM is some saint. But I also think it’s really important to make sure people understand that there is more than just sexual assault that is banned by SS.
                        SEXUAL misconduct. They described the misconduct.

                        Also most of us are aware because we read and understand the materials provided by Safe Sport and the excellent posts by FiSk123.


                          Originally posted by Fiona_785 View Post
                          Huhh?? He’s permanently banned? What is even going on? This is the first I’m hearing of any accusations against him.

                          edit: so the SS site is confusing. They have him listed as permanently banned but it’s also written as “subject to appeal” because they’re allegations? So what does that mean, have they investigated or have they not? Did the complaint just come in today?
                          SafeSport does their complete investigation and issues their decision, in this case a lifetime ban. The person then has the option of appealing the decision of SafeSport in front of an arbitrator. The appeal can address either the validity of the incidents that led to the ban, or admit the incidents occurred and dispute the severity of the sanction.

                          SafeSport can issue an interim ban while the investigation is underway if it thinks that minors are currently in jeopardy.


                            Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
                            TooManyBays sexual misconduct involving a minor. Still broad, but definitely not so broad as to be incomprehensible to most.
                            Wasn’t saying it wasn’t. Just was saying that immediately calling him a pedophile (which others on this thread have called him) is really jumping the gun.
                            If I haven’t said it earlier, I will say it now; I am not surprised at SS’s findings on GM. It was a matter of time, IMO, until his past caught up with him.


                              Originally posted by TooManyBays View Post

                              Misconduct is pretty broad.
                              I’m not supporting his behavior. I don’t think there is a single person who thinks GM is some saint. But I also think it’s really important to make sure people understand that there is more than just sexual assault that is banned by SS.
                              Everything "banned" by SafeSport that would warrant someone permanently ineligible status is of a serious, sexual nature.

                              People are more confused than ever because of the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention (MAAP) policies. The MAAP policies are guidelines in place to protect both minors and adults from venturing into high-risk situations. SafeSport does not hand down permanently ineligible sanctions for not following MAAP guidelines.

                              Page 29 of the policies outlines all the possible sanctions one might receive after an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct is completed, ranging from a warning to permanently ineligible. Below I have quoted the considerations used when determining the appropriate sanction:

                              Factors relevant to determining appropriate sanctions include, without limitation: 1. The Respondent’s prior history; 2. A pattern of inappropriate behavior or misconduct; 3. The ages of individuals involved; 4. Whether the Respondent poses an ongoing and/or potential threat to the safety of others; 5. Respondent’s voluntary disclosure of the offense(s), acceptance of responsibility for the misconduct, and/or cooperation in the Center’s process; 6. Real or perceived impact of the incident on the Claimant, NGB(s), LAO(s), USOC, or the sporting community; 7. Whether given the facts and circumstances that have been established, continued participation in the Olympic Movement is appropriate; and/or 8. Other mitigating and aggravating circumstances. Any single factor, if severe enough, may be sufficient to justify the sanction(s) imposed.
                              SafeSport also does not always handle sanctions for instances of emotional/physical misconduct, instead fielding those cases to the National Governing Bodies in many instances (source:

                              Bottom line: if someone is handed down a lifetime ban because of misconduct with a minor, there is strong evidence that it was not benign behavior.
                              Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                                Well I stupidly checked FB, now I have unfollowed a few pages who are all screaming anti SS, with no real insight into how things work.
                                Boss Mare Eventing Blog


                                  Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
                                  As I said, Robert Dover asks a friend if he was sexually assaulted by George as a young adult (22).

                                  Friend says no.

                                  Ergo, Rob concludes George Morris did not assault adolescent boys.
                                  Robert Ross is Robert Dover's husband.


                                    Originally posted by Bogie View Post
                                    Interesting. After Rob Gage I was wondering whether George Morris would be next.
                                    It goes back further than that. After Jimmy Williams, the next BNT of that era was GM and it was speculated that he would be next. When lesser BNT's were named , it appeared that USEF was, in some way looking the other way on GM. He's Top Gun for them and USET, after all.
                                    Note: I'm saying it APPEARED that way, not saying that USEF actually did.


                                      This has been a shocking couple of years for any humans who were living in the bubble of having not been victimized as young athletes. As a relative newcomer to the sport, I'm always taken aback by how many posters are unsurprised when such accusations come out. Reading more about these suspensions and also those in other sports is really horrifying.
                                      There may be certain cultural or environmental factors that make equestrian sports especially prone to this type of misconduct, but it also seems no sport is blameless these days.

                                      It does seem that unless we actively seek out stories of these abuses from other sports, or they are unspeakably heinous or involve culturally important figures (Nassar, Sandusky) they don't often come to the forefront of the national consciousness.

                                      While I am sorry to hear of another icon of the sport has been found to have committed sexual misconduct with a minor, and upset to hear another icon of the sport come to his defense, I do think it is important that GM has been suspended, and hopefully reflects the impact and scope these investigations can have and will continue to have in the future.

                                      I do have a question about the SafeSport process which remains after going over the very helpful flowchart posted earlier on this thread.
                                      How does the "interim" list relate to the other two (banned and suspensions)? Are those cases that have been decided but are being appealed, or do they only chose some cases to publicly list during the investigations, I am assuming if GM had been listed on the safe sport Interim list it would have been posted about sooner.

                                      The courage of the victim(s) to report is inspiring. My support goes out to them.


                                        I'm really interested in the fact that the NYT was already looking into GM before this, so obviously, there was smoke billowing already. So curious to know what they triggered their interest.
                                        Boss Mare Eventing Blog


                                          I truly believe we need a sticky in this forum about Safe Sport policies.