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George Morris on the SS list

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    Original Poster

    2bayboys— I heard a shocking rumor about 30 yrs ago regarding a Sounthern charming BNT, it was a story I never forgot. Yes, I think the equestrian world is possibly in for a bumpy ride. I hope I’m wrong. It’s very sad.


      Originally posted by Midge View Post

      You can lose your medical license under almost the exact same procedure as Safe Sport follows.

      Gah! Are most horse people completely ignorant of the way the rest of the world works?
      So are "therapists" on the fb who also don't understand that they can lose their license to practice and/or be censured sans criminal trial.

      Let me apologize in advance.


        Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post

        The concept you are failing to grasp is that in many other professions, one can be banned without a criminal conviction. This is the same thing. Professional organizations can and do ban people without a trial. Welcome to the world outside of horses where the majority of us reside.

        These due process and constitutional rights arguments are really tiring.

        Like ladyj79 my head is exploding.
        At this point we need t shirts with this on it... and on the back it can remind people that adult having sex with kids was never acceptable nor legal....
        Perhaps back on page one people could read the outline of what and how SS operates, verify they understand, so we stop regurgitation of "... but it was 50 years ago... but it's not a court of law... but he hasn't been able to cross examine his accusers..."

        Good Lord, I thought I was slow....
        Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014


          Originally posted by erinmeri View Post

          I agree with a lot of what you have said here and on the RG thread, but frankly this is unnecessary. Sure, I don’t ride cross country willingly and never have, but 3 day riders don’t compete at the same height or technicality in show jumping. Do I undermine them? No. Just as many eventers couldn’t get around an open jumper course, many H/J riders couldn’t get around a cross country course. Nobody is “better”. We all face risks and we all face technical challenges. I may be coming back to the sport after years off but I know that. No need to put down others in different disciplines. Frankly it just weakens your argument.
          I actually have great respect for other disciplines. Crashing Boar’s initial post took me to task because I praised Kristin Medall Simpson... etc for her two public posts on Facebook concerning the RG case, and now GM.

          I made a statement praising her as a professional who has demonstrated empathy and compassion in her statements, and a focus on the future of the sport. And I think that her voice has been unique and powerful and she’s someone I would support if she were ever to do a clinic in my area (I believe she has before).

          Crashing Boar them posted a condescending response schooling me on toughness, and what upper level coaches are like, and the narrow margins of error and life and death stakes involved in jumping “big stix” and the big money stakes involved in Grand Prix jumping. And there was a little bit about the free market in there, and how people like me who didn’t understand tuff and gruff coaching at the upper levels, and tough elite sports of all varieties could ask our brothers for insight (wow) and take our money to coaches with the traits we seek. Apparently coaches who “sugarcoat” things.

          I found this bizarre and insulting and responded. I’m also coming back to our sport after years off... and am by no means an upper level rider. Nor do I aspire to be. Although I’m fortunate to ride with a great coach. I did dig back at Crashing Boar though, as I have spent a lot of time around a lot of people who are involved in plenty of dangerous things.

          I wasn't attempting to put down other disciplines. I was attempting to mock the condescending statements initially directed at me by someone who decided that I wasn’t “tough” and didn’t understand “life and death stakes” at the upper levels simply because I commented about how empathy in a professional is a good thing, and something the industry needs more of.


            Originally posted by poltroon View Post

            I am going to be really direct here.

            First, I don't know what the accusation is, what the evidence is, and neither do you. But I'm going to lay something out that y'all had better be ready for.

            GM says that the accusation is between 1968 and 1972 when he was ~ 30-34 years old. This may or may not be the sum total of evidence or accusation, but I think we can assume it's at least that.

            SafeSport says it is for sexual misconduct with a minor. FWIW we know that is the wording they use whether it is one or many victims. It can be a range of behaviors which they lay out on their website in impressively clinical detail. We also do not know the gender of the minor(s), but I think we can consider it unimportant.

            I really don't give a fig what consenting adults do or did for sex. Legal at the time and place or not. If he went to the bar and had a total orgyfest with strangers, I really don't care. I also strongly suspect SafeSport doesn't care.

            What I do care about is people using their power to get sex from students and employees and other people under their power. And I care even more about people using it to get sex from a minor. Or, as seems typical when there's one minor, multiple minors.

            I think y'all should consider the extremely strong possibility that the truth here is very ugly, that it could involve a 30+ year old man having sex with children in our sport half his age or less. There is no context or time where that behavior would have been okay. That as these rocks get kicked even uglier behavior will come to light, as it often does in these situations. You may be shocked to learn eventually how many survivors - of this case and others - are people you love, and people you're hurting right now. And plan what you say, and advocate for, accordingly.
            Yes, it could get much more complicated. A male friend rode with George in the mid-80’s, and was mostly schooled by two well known assistants. One of them, now deceased, was abusive to him, so that calls into question to what degree is George responsible for the behavior of his associates. It just gets deeper and deeper, when you have a climate of predatory gay males and lots of young teenage boys away from home with maybe their parent’s car and Amex card, staying in motels alone, etc. My friend was in a motel near Hunterdon, where the medal kids from out of town would stay.


              Originally posted by Texarkana View Post

              USEF is a workplace. A private organization. "Innocent until proven guilty" is not the standard in any workplace or private organization.

              GHM was allowed to question his accuser in the investigation process. Evidence from both parties was provided to investigators. If you don't believe me, please refer back to the SafeSport code which I linked for you before, p. 23-24:


              I am a teacher. If allegations of sexual misconduct were reported to my administrators, I would immediately be placed on leave without pay. There's a good chance the press would get ahold of the story and my face and name would be blasted across the news. Then my workplace would decided whether or not to terminate me based on their own internal investigation, which could range from thorough to laughable. No judges, no fair trial, no confronting my accuser. I could try to fight it in court, at astronomical expense. It would take a considerable amount of time to reach a resolution that route, and would I really want to continue working for an employer I just took to court?

              In any number of professions, the process would be similar.

              So please stop acting like his rights have been violated. They haven't. He essentially was "fired" from his job. He can still ride horses. He can still attend shows unaffiliated with USEF. He can still write books and magazine articles. Technically, he can't provide coaching/training services to USEF members, but if we have learned anything from the past, this ban won't stop it from happening. Or, he can do basically anything else he wants that doesn't involve a sport under the US Olympic umbrella.

              If you have a problem with the fact that people can be fired from their jobs for committing felony misconduct, you have bigger fish to fry than SafeSport.
              I feel like we just need to keep copying and pasting this post every few pages.


                Food for thought: why does it matter that GHM was successful when it comes to either SafeSport or common decency? Yes, he was “our God”. So what?

                I rode at a top barn but I was not a top rider. Does that make anything I experienced more or less valid? I am lucky that my amazing trainers never stepped out of line... but if they had, what would my recourse have been? Because I wasn’t the “best” does that mean I have no opinion?

                This is sport is nuts.I love it and I hate it... but at the end of the day, nobody should be above scrutiny.


                  Originally posted by Midge View Post
                  Would someone please unpack Kristin's names and families for me please?
                  Here you go
                  BLACK LIVES MATTER


                    Originally posted by Crashing Boar View Post

                    Here's a practical solution for USEF: SS is mandated to apply to "Olympic" sports. Western riding, breed shows, hunters, gaited riding, rodeo, foxhunting, and the SUB-FEI levels of jumping, 3-day, and dressage are only peripherally related to the Olympic movement. Truly "Olympic" level riding involves mere tens of people out of 337 million. Therefore, the USEF should only require the SS compliance for those truly training at the FEI levels; a vanishingly small group of people, those under the most extreme performance pressure at the very pinnacle of the sport.

                    Let all other allegations of any and all misconduct, in any social context, be adjudicated by the legitimate US judicial authorities under due process of US law.


                      Originally posted by Midge View Post
                      Does anyone really think this is all about one fellow 50 years years ago???
                      Until proven facts of anything else are released, we don't really know.


                        Originally posted by Crashing Boar View Post
                        This is still (at least this week, so far!) the USA. One has a right to due process. If someone is being accused of a CRIME (and that's what this accusation is), they need to file a police report and bring that accusation, the evidence and any corroborating witnesses before a grand jury within the time frame of the statute of limitations in that state. If it's deemed the accusation is credible, the accused will be arraigned, possibly jailed or bond posted, and the process of preparing for trial begins.

                        To my knowledge, no other entity or process in our country is empowered to adjudicate and punish CRIME.
                        Thats not how this works! Thats not how any of this works! Due process does not apply in the context of a non-judicial body. GHM is being accused of a SAFESPORT VIOLATION. Legal penalties are not being meted out here. It is a separate process (wholly unrelated to the criminal justice system that you largely inaccurately describe) that addresses GHM's eligibility to be a member of the specific NGB, in this case, USEF. Due process does not apply. Please feel free to point me to the applicable clause in the Constitution that gives individuals the right to due process with respect to a voluntary membership of an NGB/private professional organization - I'd love to read up on it.
                        Last edited by EverElite; Aug. 7, 2019, 11:02 PM. Reason: acronyms are hard


                          Also, can we step back a bit on Kristin’s legacy? Who cares. Yes, she was married to Will, but she was a good rider in her own right. She wasn’t a “wifey” of a BNT, Frankly her personal choice of last names shouldn’t bother you. Nor should any other aspect of her personal life. Carry on...


                            Let me apologize in advance.


                              Just to quibble, George isn't being accused at this point. He has been found in violation and banned.
                              Let me apologize in advance.


                                Originally posted by Bristol Bay View Post
                                Thank you and Silk
                                You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.


                                  Originally posted by erinmeri View Post

                                  Crashing Boar - Do you take issue with, let’s say, priests being called out and defrocked for assaulting minors 20, 30, 40 or 50 years ago? What about private school teachers like the cases that have recently come to light about prestigious East Coast institutions that date back decades? Why should our sport be different?

                                  I am coming back into riding after many years off. I am surprised how not much has changed in all these years from what I see here and on social media. It saddens me to see people I love and trust on the wrong side of this argument. But what saddens me the most is that they often seem to “get it” when similar situations arise in other professional arenas. Why shouldn’t the equestrian world - and specifically, the H/J world - be held to the same standards? It boggles the mind.
                                  It boggles the mind that people like Crashing Boar still keep ranting about CRIMINAL behaviour and expecting SS to apply the same standards that a criminal prosecution would.

                                  If and when criminal charges are laid, those wanting all the accusations tested in a judicial setting will get their wish in the meantime it’s irrelevant because the SafeSport process isn’t about criminal behaviour or determining legal guilt or innocence. It’s been said here 100 times but clearly it often enough for it to sink in with some people. GHM isn’t Ben f accused of criminal behaviour. He’s being accused of essentially violating a private club’s code of conduct. An independent body investigated and found sufficient evidence to uphold the claim and ban him from said private club. That’s it.


                                    Originally posted by erinmeri View Post
                                    Also, can we step back a bit on Kristin’s legacy? Who cares. Yes, she was married to Will, but she was a good rider in her own right. She wasn’t a “wifey” of a BNT, Frankly her personal choice of last names shouldn’t bother you. Nor should any other aspect of her personal life. Carry on...
                                    She mentioned her ex's family being attacked in her post. I knew Will when he was in Chicago, but wasn't sure if that was her first husband. Her names don't 'bother' me in the slightest.
                                    You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.


                                      Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post

                                      Ok - I won’t take what definitely came off as a condescending personal attack personally.

                                      Yes indeed... show jumping in the late 60’s has little to do with eventing. Or the military. So let’s dispense with dramatic talk of high risks, and how toughness is required to rise to the very top.

                                      Destruction of his reputation was well underway decades before this Safe Sport ban. Stories about GM have been out there for YEARS.

                                      Let me me remind you - people repeating these stories verbally or in writing, about a public figure have to be proven to be engaging in deliberate lying with a result of causing quantifiable harm to GM in order for slander or libel to come into play.

                                      So there will be no lawsuit over slander or libel.

                                      As for George’s business... you yourself said his clinics will continue to be full. You are likely correct. Look at Facebook... people LOVE him.

                                      So how is his business destroyed?

                                      So what exactly do you anticipate being an issue involving Civil Law? The guy’s reputation was ALREADY profoundly damaged. His business likely WON’T be greatly impacted.

                                      Do you really think lawyers wanting to challenge Safe Sport are going to use GEORGE MORRIS of all freaking people to make the case that it’s unfair, unconstitutional, and he shouldn’t have been banned for life because there just isn’t enough evidence (by a preponderance of the evidence standard) to prove that he did anything untoward with minors?!?

                                      No lawyer in their right mind will pick him as the client of choice for that argument.

                                      It’s over. He’s done.
                                      I kind of wish there would be a court case. Imagine all the witnesses who could potentially come out of the woodwork...


                                        I went to the Safe Sport website and looked up the process they use, how they are run, etc, which is far more than most of the people shrieking about it have done. I also think the people who are bashing the Safe Sport process have little to no idea or experience of sports governance more generally. Why let an accurate understanding get in the way of a good screech fest on the Internet?
                                        A canter is a cure for every evil. ~Benjamin Disraeli


                                          Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
                                          Just to quibble, George isn't being accused at this point. He has been found in violation and banned.
                                          Yes. I think the “accused” originated with his press release.
                                          The Evil Chem Prof