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George Morris on the SS list

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  • Originally posted by poltroon View Post
    For those who have said that SafeSport should be transparent and publish dates and ages... note that the dates alone made it pretty easy to guess who one of the claimants was in this case. Indeed, I did a little searching and at first thought that Soresi was too young to be that claimant based on an article listing his age that was written in his 40s, then found his true age and went, "Oh." Took only a few minutes of clumsy investigation on my part and this started before I was born, on the opposite side of the country from me.

    If they gave us another set of dates we'd know likely who else spoke to them.

    Their policies say that the accused has the names of all claimants. That seems intimidating enough.
    Exactly.

    Add to this that per Kristin Hardin’s post, GHM and some long time loyalists of his reached out and THREATENED her former in laws. I don’t truly understand why... but my assumption is to prevent her from cooperating with the ongoing investigation in any way.

    Michael Hart’s family members were quoted in the NYT article. JS has been clear in published accounts that his brother encouraged him to come forward as well. I really hope other people out there who are either related to victims, or once had a connection or close relationship with a victim reach out to Safe Sport and add testimony now. Be a voice for people who are intimidated into silence out of fear of personal and professional consequences... or who are silent because the whole experience set them up on a tragic life journey that ended in an early death. That seems to have been the case for Michael Hart. Reading his family’s feelings regarding justice... it made my heart hurt.

    Comment


    • I suspect that it has always been GM's MO to cultivate his image of being verbally abusive as a way of publicly intimidating anyone and everyone from ever going up against him.

      Having witnessed first-hand his nastiness in a public setting (clinic) I can only imagine how unsavory his words and actions would be in private.

      Comment


      • Oh, yes. Why else would you roll in the dirt when a clinician told you to? If he weren't intimidating, you'd tell him to go take a running jump instead of meekly doing what he said.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Farhills123 View Post
          He will absolutely fight it. He HAS been fighting it for the last 2 years. He will make it about a constitutional violation of some kind. His legacy is very important to him and he is a fighter. It isn’t in his nature to just go gently into the good night.
          Thank you so much for your posts, Farhills123.

          GM's reaction to the investigation is quite interesting to me. Based on the knowledge that I have on the case, I don't really see any way that he could argue innocence. I have no doubt that he and his legal advisers will try and attack the credibility of the claimants, but the sheer volume of claimants/witnesses and the identity of certain claimants would make that tactic a very poor choice.

          Also, considering that he "allegedly" threatened several people in an effort to convince them not to speak to SafeSport/reporters, he could be found in violation of several SafeSport policies. I could also see his legal team going the "technicality" route and trying to argue that SafeSport did not follow its own rules - but this tactic would definitely hurt his public declaration of innocence. Another issues is the PR statement - which was carefully worded to single out a specific claimant. I'm not sure if it rises to the level of "Abuse of Process" but its wording was incredibly misleading.

          For those who are interested in learning more about the actions that typically result in "Permanent Ineligibility", here is a spreadsheet that I created in early July: SafeSport - Permanent Ineligibility

          poltroon I agree 100%. The PR statement is a perfect example of how even basic information, like a four-year time span tied with a violation of "sexual misconduct - involving a minor", can reveal the identities of claimants.

          Comment


          • I don't ride any longer, and never was anyone who was actually great at it, but I did enjoy it. So I never joined AHSA, or USEF. Until yesterday, when I signed up for a fan membership.

            People who say SS should go away, and USEF, and their FEI counterparts should butt out, wouldn't that mean that international competitions wouldn't happen in the U.S. any longer? And no more international presence for the U.S. riders? Or am I misunderstanding the entire situation (entirely possible).
            You can't fix stupid-Ron White

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Farhills123 View Post
              He will absolutely fight it. He HAS been fighting it for the last 2 years. He will make it about a constitutional violation of some kind. His legacy is very important to him and he is a fighter. It isn’t in his nature to just go gently into the good night.
              I hope the victims have support from family friends and loved ones in the coming days. I hope if it is at all possible or appropriate, some of them can figure out a way to connect with one another, and support one another.

              The story of the men who were victims of Conrad Mainwaring and supported one another privately as that case unfolded comes to mind. ESPN just did some powerful reporting on that. The story of the gymnasts who were part of the Larry Nasser case also comes to mind. The young woman who tried to report him in 2000 and had her story published by the Indy Star... she was a catalyst for others. Without her speaking up and speaking out... and later in supporting others who were trying to work through it... she was instrumental in terms of bringing him down.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by JanM View Post
                I don't ride any longer, and never was anyone who was actually great at it, but I did enjoy it. So I never joined AHSA, or USEF. Until yesterday, when I signed up for a fan membership.

                People who say SS should go away, and USEF, and their FEI counterparts should butt out, wouldn't that mean that international competitions wouldn't happen in the U.S. any longer? And no more international presence for the U.S. riders? Or am I misunderstanding the entire situation (entirely possible).
                I think that NGBs that govern national
                competitions (in the sense of not just intra-state) are subject to SafeSport as well. So ditching FEI or Olympic ties won’t get you away from SafeSport anyway.

                Comment


                • After considering his statement, I think he knows where this is heading and he's basically saying he's going to make this as public and ugly as possible and take as many others with him as he can. And face it, there are going to be a lot of people dragged into it. He may possibly squeak out of it - OJ Simpson did - but there will be a lot of dirty laundry left flapping around in his wake, as well as a lot of people who will still believe in his innocence.

                  Comment


                  • Copy and paste:
                    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, Sarah.Nir@nytimes.com
                    McDowell Racing Stables

                    Home Away From Home

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Virginia Horse Mom View Post

                      I hope the victims have support from family friends and loved ones in the coming days. I hope if it is at all possible or appropriate, some of them can figure out a way to connect with one another, and support one another.

                      The story of the men who were victims of Conrad Mainwaring and supported one another privately as that case unfolded comes to mind. ESPN just did some powerful reporting on that. The story of the gymnasts who were part of the Larry Nasser case also comes to mind. The young woman who tried to report him in 2000 and had her story published by the Indy Star... she was a catalyst for others. Without her speaking up and speaking out... and later in supporting others who were trying to work through it... she was instrumental in terms of bringing him down.
                      I'm wondering if some of George Morris's teenaged victims are now men who are not homosexual, and were not willing to have that relationship with him become public. Victims frequently feel shame, and maybe it's a double whammy for them. We have become way more accepting of homosexuality as the decades passed, but a heterosexual man may just not be willing to come forward if he had been a victim of George Morris as a teen. I know that was an issue with boys who were abused by priests and why it took so long for some of them to come forward.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by dannyboy View Post
                        @FairHills123



                        I absolutely agree that he will fight it. But what's that about the last 2 years part? I'm way out of the USEF loop and don't know what's been going on.
                        Well...not really in the loop any more and grew up on the opposite coast where we had our own problems. Never around him much other then watch him teach in public settings, like private mini clinic type lessons for accomplished Juniors at shows in the last 20 years. But over the last couple of years, he’s distanced himself noticeably from a lot of his professional activities. Just thought it was age and health related but heard a few rumors something else was going on.

                        If it’s anything like the JW situation, people have been contacted by journalists and certainly the SS investigation that has apparently been going on for at least 18 months. That would fit with the 2 year time frame here. Once JW went down, it really was only a matter of time anyway as victims are starting to speak up. Suspect there’s more shoes to drop, possibly within that vocal group of supporters.



                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                        Comment



                        • Laurierace Thank you! Findelight That makes sense. I noticed that also, but like you thought it was just age-related. But looking back, it makes sense. And yes, I believe this is the tip of the iceburg.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                            Copy and paste:
                            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, Sarah.Nir@nytimes.com
                            Apparently Sarah Nir was briefly part of the ISWG Facebook Group, and she posted her article there. The admin removed it and booted her from the group. Vanessa Brown has now posted about it, and has said,

                            “if anyone feels compelled to bring her actions to the attention of The New York Times, the e-mail addresses to send your views to are...”

                            Maybe I am missing something... but what in the world... do these people think the editors at that paper are going to discipline their reporter for linking to her own investigative report because a bunch of folks determined to support GM are upset with her?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                              I'm wondering if some of George Morris's teenaged victims are now men who are not homosexual, and were not willing to have that relationship with him become public. Victims frequently feel shame, and maybe it's a double whammy for them. We have become way more accepting of homosexuality as the decades passed, but a heterosexual man may just not be willing to come forward if he had been a victim of George Morris as a teen. I know that was an issue with boys who were abused by priests and why it took so long for some of them to come forward.
                              I was thinking the same thing. There is still a lot of homophobia, and I think there is a lot less of a support system for boys who may have been abused in that way. My observation is that women have been more public and vocal about constructing support systems for victims of rape and other sexual abuse.

                              Comment


                              • Duncan McIntosh keeps indicating he knows the entirety of the investigation against Rob Gage. Is that possible? And that it was all a fabricated charge. How does that square with the women who came forward after The Oaks?
                                *****
                                You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by FiSk123 View Post

                                  Thank you so much for your posts, Farhills123.

                                  GM's reaction to the investigation is quite interesting to me. Based on the knowledge that I have on the case, I don't really see any way that he could argue innocence. I have no doubt that he and his legal advisers will try and attack the credibility of the claimants, but the sheer volume of claimants/witnesses and the identity of certain claimants would make that tactic a very poor choice.

                                  I see his reaction is the same as everyone else that has been permanently banned. They have not denied it occurred. Not one person has stood up and said they didn't do it. They spew misinformation about due process, the stature of limitations, they attack the reporting party, or they say, as George did, that he never hurt anyone or the sport. They have no clue who they hurt. They take no responsibility for the lives that they damaged. I have seen a few comments mentioning how people were different "back then". Many people that were alcoholics or doing drugs have cleaned up their act and become good citizens who have contributed to the sport, therefore should not be held responsible because they "aren't that person anymore". I applaud anyone who has conquered an addiction, but that doesn't give one a free pass. If you killed someone when drunk or high, that person is still dead regardless if you are clean and sober now.. If you molested a child, that person may be an adult, but that doesn't mean you didn't inflict harm. It may not be visible, but there was damage done.
                                  George says he didn't hurt anyone and people interpret that as innocence - because that is what they want it to be. If you read his statement (released by his PR people), he doesn't say he didn't do it and he is only focusing on the 1 case. (as did the other banned individuals). Why - because they don't want people to know the truth.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post

                                    Just and FYI- a ISWG member posted the link (2ce) and it was taken down (2ce) saying "This is a support page only. Don't name the accuser. It's for GM only" (not a direct quote but you get the gist and it is close).

                                    People DON'T WANT TO BE INFORMED.
                                    Don’t want to be informed is right. I was on the ISWG page and saw this exchange (paraphrased):
                                    poster A: How do you know the most recent report was 50 years ago?
                                    poster B: In the limited information they provided, it said 1968-1972.
                                    Poster A: Those dates came from GMs PR firm, not SafeSport.
                                    Poster B: He doesn’t have a PR firm. I’m guessing you don’t know who GM is.
                                    Poster A: PR firm or not, those dates are from GMs camp, not SafeSport.
                                    Poster B: They are from SafeSport, try to keep up.
                                    Poster C; Actually, the dates are from a PR firm, here’s the link. Provides link to GM statement, which has the heading “Statement from George H Morris” at the top.
                                    Poster B: Poster C - If you don’t stand with George, you should leave the page.
                                    Poster C: Oh gee, sorry, I do stand with George, just trying to state a fact.

                                    At at one point, both Poster A and Poster C were grayed out (blocked). Don’t bug us with no obnoxious facts, you nasty people.

                                    They refer to the NYTs journalist as a “journalist”, and removed a post of hers, blocked her from the page, and provided the members of the group with the phone number of the NYTs editorial department. So outraged ISWG people could complain to the NYT that ... what?

                                    Comment


                                    • And look at the victim shaming that is still going on to girls in the wake of the Rob Gage thing.

                                      ETA: I'm not normally too sympathetic when people start saying "but look at teh menz" but in this case, I'm sure it is much worse for men who identify as straight or gay men who prefer to keep their identification out of the public eye, because if/when it becomes known that they were victims of a homosexual predator, they will be subject to questioning of their sexual natures in much worse ways than female victims are.
                                      Last edited by dannyboy; Aug. 9, 2019, 03:01 PM.

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by HLMom View Post
                                        This is for folks who are interested in the legal questions surrounding USEF/SS. It is not a defense of GM, nor is it a critique of SS's mission.

                                        People keep saying "USEF is a private club. It can do whatever it wants." I am skeptical that courts would treat it as a private club. See the article below. Now, the fact that courts might treat USEF as NOT being a private club is only the first question. The next question is, what legal obligations (in addition to non-discrimination) would flow from this determination?

                                        https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB124588111858449559

                                        Some golf courses, country clubs and social groups long have discriminated against certain types of people, usually women and minorities. Private organizations sometimes presume that they can exclude whomever they want, no questions asked.

                                        And in one sense, they are right. Ironically, the more selective a club is, the more it is considered to be truly private and thus protected against antidiscrimination laws. In other words, a small, all-male group of stamp collectors who meet in a private home aren't unlawfully discriminating by not accepting women.

                                        But clubs that presume they are private frequently turn out not to be in the eyes of the law in some states.

                                        "Over the last 20 years, societal pressures have led to a steady narrowing of what qualifies as a private organization, free from antidiscrimination laws," says Robert Duston, a Washington attorney who specializes in defending discrimination cases.

                                        Take the Mill River Club Inc., a country club in Oyster Bay, N.Y., that considers itself private. Marc Wenger, the club's attorney, says Mill River is selective in choosing members, picking them partially on the basis of religion with the stated goal of achieving a balance of Jews and Christians.

                                        Club member Joseph Pezza filed a complaint against the club in 2002, claiming the religious-diversity policy embarrassed him because "it puts unnecessary labels on people," according to court testimony.

                                        Earlier this year, a New York court ruled that the club wasn't actually "private," and that its religious quota system violated state law.

                                        The court based its decision on evidence that included the fact that nonmembers took tennis lessons and attended social events at the club. The court also noted that the club has more than 100 members -- a factor that is relevant under New York state law in deciding whether a group is a "place of public accommodation."
                                        None of the anti-discrimination legislation in this country provides protection for adults who choose to engage in felony sexual misconduct with minors.

                                        The "USEF is a private organization" line keeps getting repeated because people keep yelling about constitution rights, due process, innocent until proven guilty, etc. But those amendments only apply to incidences where you are being charged with a crime... like by the law, on a federal/state/regional level.

                                        USEF/SafeSport has not charged Mr. Morris with a crime-- that's not their job. But they have said there is a preponderance of evidence that he violated the rules of the organization to the point where they feel a ban is in the best interest of their members.

                                        I believe people become confused because the rules he violated are also considered crimes by the law, so many people feel like he has been charged with a crime. He hasn't been charged-- if that were true, he would have been arrested and indicted. He's a free man to do anything he wants except participate in the private organization that booted him.

                                        The burden of evidence and standard of proof needed for the law to pursue action for criminal activity is much greater than the preponderance of evidence needed for civil matters, like club membership. In the SafeSport policies, they are clear that they report their findings to law enforcement when appropriate, but as mentioned earlier, many times the law cannot act due to statutes of limitations or types of evidence.

                                        I'm sure you understand all this, but I just felt it was worth repeating because so many people still don't get it.
                                        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                                        Comment


                                        • Laurierace Where did you get that statement from the reporter? Just curious who she sent it to! I'm eagerly following her public statements on her investigation and also have been trying to verify the Safe Sport investigation timeline, so I would love to be able to point to that as backup on the claim that it was super in-depth!

                                          *Edit: I found it! She's posted it on Twitter if anyone else is neurotic enough to gather a repository of sources to cite in conversation.

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