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George Morris on the SS list

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  • Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
    I posted this law review article on the Rob Gage thread but it didn’t get any attention. It explains how the federal Sherman Act is used to analyze complaints about being banned from an association or sports club, and emphasizes the need for a fair and nonarbitrary procedure. If a case is filed in court after the appeal, it will likely take this shape. There are many, many cases going for and against associations, based very specifically on the facts. This author believes SafeSport should be Ok, but much will also depend on how IN FACT the procedures were applied, and that we shall see.

    i tried explaining in that thread how the argument that private clubs can do anything they want is wrong, and also that this involved a constitutional due process right is wrong. An actual challenge would likely involve neither.

    to be clear, in such a case there are market impact questions at stake, and then 1. Are the procedures the association has in place fair and reasonable? And 2. If so, did the association actually follow those procedures in the case at hand to a reasonable degree?
    Thanks, Fordtraktor. This is a very insightful contribution. It's an area of law I'm not familiar with, so I find it very interesting. I'm sorry I missed it when you posted it on the other thread!


    • Originally posted by mvp View Post
      And imagine the grown-up version of the people who grew up in "that different time" who, too, may not have ever acquired the vocabulary or tools or sense of self it takes to call a spade a spade when it comes to recognizing predatory behavior and being the kind of adult who stands up to it.
      Pha! Vocabulary? You didn't say the word s.e.x. Sex was bad and only something that marriage mysteriously legitimized. Catcher in the Rye was read guiltily on the sly and Peyton Place didn't hit tv until 1964. The message was that sex was bad and by extension, so were you for having anything to do with it even if the source was a child molester. Besides, you did what your elders told you to do. Very few kids would have had enlightened parents to run home to and say, "Mommy, mommy guess what happened at the barn today?" So, yes, I'm really glad the s**t has the fan.


      • This would be the law he is being banned under correct?


        • I am starting to think that with all the recent revelations that the only way the hunt seat or other equestrian industries can save themselves is to get into Safe Sport as soon as possible.

          After reading all of this there is NO WAY I would ever send one of my grandsons to a riding stable I do not go to regularly, like for weekly lessens at least. I can give the eldest grandson some riding at the stables where I ride, once a month or so when they all visit me. I had been thinking about finding a stable up where they live and helping with riding lessons, but from what I've read here there is no way this is going to happen. The risk is simply too great.

          I've been involved with horses for around 50 years. I never had much problem, but now I see that these predatory people thrive in the equestrian world and it makes me mad, horrified, and aghast that the sport I love so much has such horrible abusive people in it, who get approval and support from the highest ranks of the sport AND from the highest ranks of society and wealth.

          It is my belief that little girls saved the riding horses in America back when lots of people were confidently predicting that riding horses would effectively become extinct in the USA ( during the 1950s). So what do these entitled adult men do but physically attack the only reason that there is any demand for their services, or rather enough demand to be able to make a living at it--children who want to ride a horse.

          If the riding horse industry is destroyed it will be the fault of no one else but the professionals and big money backers of these absolutely horrible people.

          I KNOW there are still good stables around, I ride at two of them. But with all the support the pederasts and pedophiles are getting from the highest ranks of the sport I just cannot see taking a chance with my precious grandchildren. I will no longer encourage other parents to get their kids into horseback riding either, it is just too dangerous for the kids.


          • Originally posted by omare View Post
            I have not read the whole law reveiw article but in going over the history it seems to not address congressional involvement and the requirements set out by law i think because it is referring to 2014 action by the us olympic committee (predating the law) as opposed to the 2017 law. I also notice the 2017 law refers to binding arbitration which usually means no appeal to court of the particular decision. When congress does not provide a path to appeal a decision that is nigh impossible to overcome - unless one is challenging a process. (Take foregoing with a big grain of salt as it is just first impression .) edited to add if the process is attacked is the best he can get is a do over with a new process?
            Not criticizing but to understand it, you really need to read the Sherman Act section. It will explain better. It is way too complicated to try to summarize comprehensibly. The author does a very good job summarizing the law. But in short, the answer is that an association can have a process in place but not actually follow it, which causes problems because it can lead to an inaccurate result. Would the court remand to SS for a do over? It really depends. Sherman Act cases are usually very fact intensive because they involve the rule of reason often. Which is basically consider everything and see what is reasonable.

            also, keep in mind a Sherman Act case will be filed in federal district court, not an appellate court. District Courts can and do address facts and don’t owe deference to private associations or their fact-finding. Though I also think the question of whether SS is actually some sort of quasi-federal agency will be interest and toss another level of difficulty in such a case. Courts defer to government agencies on facts but whether this is separate or was established by statute.....but take that with a grain of salt because I haven’t thought that aspect through enough to have an opinion. It is just a potential issue. it is all very complicated.


            • Jackie Cochran- so glad you are really paying attention, especially for your grandkids. As long as they are attended by the right family/friend members, they can throughly enjoy riding! And their riding instructors will not need to worry about too much responsibility of the children of others.


              • This has been an enlightening thread. I don't have any personal experience with GM and have been out of the horse world for some time now, but as a survivor of abuse, I'm glad to see that at least some are not victim-blaming or making excuses for deplorable behavior. It's been a quarter of a century since my abuse ended, I still wake up in a cold sweat sometimes, and I can still count on one hand how many people know about it. My abuser is still free, the statute is too far gone, and of course any physical evidence is long gone. What's not gone is the lasting effect the abuse has had on my life, my relationships, and the way I see other survivors and their abusers. I can assure all those asking why victims don't come forward, there are very complicated reasons, not the least of which is shame that it happened and the fear that those in power will side with the abuser. ISWG is case in point.

                My abuse had nothing to do the the horse world. The stables, and my trainer were a safe haven while I was going through it. I am very saddened that for some kids, their love of horses came with a side of abuse. In my case it was a family member who should have been trusted, in these cases it's a trainer who should have been trustworthy. It's sickening for these people to take advantage of the vulnerability of the children entrusted to them. My heart goes out to all those that are dealing with the lasting memories of what they went through.

                My heart also goes out to those that were personally close to those that have been outted and didn't know for whatever reason. I know you're hurting too because you have someone you held in esteem being toppled. Just remember, please, that your level of shock and disbelief, and wanting to find some justification for their behavior is also something that the victims felt, only even more profoundly as their emotions, beliefs, and trust in these people they idolized were molested along with the most intimate parts of their bodies. They were children at the time. It takes a lot in this day and age for adult sexual assault, rape, and date rape victims to come forward due to the shame and fear of victim-blaming. Can you imagine a child or teenager overcoming that decades ago when there was even less support?

                I'm thankful to those that have come forward. I'm thankful for Safe Sport. I'm thankful for the journalists refusing to hide that are asking the questions and writing the articles. I'm thankful for every person on this thread, riders, parents of riders, trainers, lawyers, and observers who have said that whether this process is perfect or not, the abusers need to be called out and stopped from having access to those that are more vulnerable. If it can keep others from going through the mental hell that some of us have lived with for decades and shift the shame to those that truly deserve it, then it's well needed. I hope these developments will encourage more of the equestrian world to stand with the children, and the survivors, and to get on the "see something, say something" bandwagon. That's needed in every sport,


                • Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                  I posted this law review article on the Rob Gage thread but it didn’t get any attention. It explains how the federal Sherman Act is used to analyze complaints about being banned from an association or sports club, and emphasizes the need for a fair and nonarbitrary procedure. If a case is filed in court after the appeal, it will likely take this shape. There are many, many cases going for and against associations, based very specifically on the facts. This author believes SafeSport should be Ok, but much will also depend on how IN FACT the procedures were applied, and that we shall see.

                  i tried explaining in that thread how the argument that private clubs can do anything they want is wrong, and also that this involved a constitutional due process right is wrong. An actual challenge would likely involve neither.

                  to be clear, in such a case there are market impact questions at stake, and then 1. Are the procedures the association has in place fair and reasonable? And 2. If so, did the association actually follow those procedures in the case at hand to a reasonable degree?

                  Putting on my not-a-lawyer-but-interested-layperson hat, NGBs are in a little different position than a true private club due to their NGB status and regulation under the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act. Among the provisions indeed are various processes meant to ensure that NGB officials don't use their power to inappropriately or unfairly block athletes from competition, especially from access to Olympic teams. We've seen this bit of law used to fight certain USEF sanctions by individuals with the funds to take on six figure legal cases. For the most part, the USEF lawyers have been pretty successful at holding their own against these suits, FWIW.

                  However: this bit of law is not going to be available for these appeals, because the code to create the US Center for Safe Sport is specifically built as an amendment to the Ted Stevens Act - IE Congress intended its changes and they are already melded together, and not going to be in conflict, as they might be if say USEF had created a SafeSport on its own.

                  I do expect someone to litigate this pretty far. Whether GM would be that person, I don't know, but most likely I'd guess it would end up being someone younger. And I hope they lose.

                  No question that SafeSport has had a learning curve when presenting their cases to arbitration and no question that they'll have to be solid in a few court cases to come. I hope they are ready for this one, so we don't end up in the situation that is for example in Taekwondo.
                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                  • @ PR1018 Bravo for XYZ. i'm sincere - she spoke up when she didn't have to. But if you have money and power, it's a lot less difficult to speak up about things. Now imagine if an ordinary boarder or once-a week student had said something. They would likely have been shown the door and it would have been business as usual in the barn.

                    If you are a nobody and have a living to make, that's a little different as others have pointed out. Sometimes it's worth the sacrifice, but I can't fault someone who feels like they need to keep their head down to protect themselves, their horses, or their children, especially if it's a he said, she said situation.


                    • I think part of the issue in discussing the 60's and 70's and the culture back then, is that it was different for different people, based on where you grew up, the rung of society you grew up in, and how your extended family were raised (and thus, how they parented/mentored you).

                      I'm a baby boomer, born in the early 60's, grew up in a very strict, upper middle class, southern household. You NEVER tattled on anyone - not your sister, not your cousins, and most certainly NOT another adult. You didn't gossip, and never repeated something you'd heard from someone else - well, at least not in my house. That would have been an hour or three in the punishment chair. So by an early age, I'd been taught to respect all adults, regardless, and to keep my mouth shut.

                      Right after my 15th birthday we moved to Fairfield County, Connecticut. Our next door neighbors were an older couple - their children were grown and gone from home. They were going on a vacation and called and asked my mom if I could house sit and take care of their two cats. She said yes and relayed to me when I was to go over to their house for instructions for my house-sitting job. I was so excited, as it meant extra money for riding.

                      When I got there, it was just the husband. Which at the time, I didn't think much of. He showed me around the house, what lights to turn off/on, what to feed the cats, and that his cats used the toilet, not a kitty litter box (OK, so that was odd, but whatever). Then he lead me up to their bonus room to were he said the cats liked to stay/hide (or so he said), and this whole time he's talking to me, asking about school and did I like our new house and yada yada. And all of a sudden, I turned around not knowing he was right there, and in an instant he had me in an embrace and forcefully tried to kiss me.

                      I was shocked, and terribly scared, and fled as fast as I could. When I got home, my mom was out running errands. For 45 minutes I agonized whether or not to tell her. To this day, I wish I'd just stayed silent. But I didn't - I told her what happened. She said I must have misunderstood or done something to make him do that. They were "nice people" and how dare I make up such a story. She made me call the neighbor and APOLOGIZE for being rude and leaving so abruptly. She made me do the house sitting because "you don't break a promise to do something".

                      I felt so dirty and confused. For YEARS I ran that whole scenario through my head, over and over, trying to figure out what I had done to have that happen to me. And I would shrink and hide every time those neighbors came to our house for a cocktail party or holiday event.

                      The whole thing was just horrible.

                      So, while one person's experience of the 1970's might have been very different from mine, doesn't mean mine was any less real or true for me. So when people say that if everyone had just done more speaking up back then, maybe we wouldn't be here today, Well, I did, and see where it got me? But that's just my perspective, from my little corner of the universe.

                      However, I am very thankful that my trainers, instructors, and coaches in the horse world over the past 50 years never put me in the position of this neighbor. My heart just breaks for all theses children, in sports programs, or not, that are groomed, assaulted, trafficked, and lied to by adults. Its a despicable business, period - no matter who the perpetrator is.
                      ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~


                      • This just showed up on my news feed...


                        • Originally posted by mkevent View Post
                          This just showed up on my news feed...
                          Dear God, it almost reads like satire.
                          "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                          ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                          • Originally posted by mkevent View Post
                            This just showed up on my news feed...
                            I got the email this morning.
                            Does that Sara Cavangh own that source?


                            • Originally posted by mkevent View Post
                              This just showed up on my news feed...
                              One nugget from the article "Even worse, Morris can no longer give his most sought after clinics, as anyone attending one of his clinics would also be barred for life."


                              • She is listed as the editor.

                                There is also a banner on the side advertising a GM clinic in Sept.


                                • Originally posted by mkevent View Post
                                  This just showed up on my news feed...
                                  Full of errors.. they just look like chumps. Embarrassing

                                  On another note, much gratitude everyone for your stories... hugs!!
                                  One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
                                  William Shakespeare


                                  • I am so sick of the "I stand with George" movement although there may be issues with SS. Regardless of the outcome, I am very glad the case is getting national press and SS is now on the scene. I hope it will save some kids from being exploited. We all know that horses, ponies, and blue ribbons are like crack to children and some parents, just like getting on the Olympic team was to those girls abused by Larry Nader. The whole relationship between kids, trainers, and parents is ripe for this stuff to happen. Talented, hard working - usually financially challenged kids - with distracted or ambitious parents, are lucky if they are just being pimped out to sell big eq horses. Those actually being groomed for sex abuse by trainers need protection, and this issue needs to be exposed like abuse in the Church. At the time it is happening, some kids trading their bodies for rides and ribbons and a life on the A circuit, not having to go to school, riding/flying around with the trainer, don't think of themselves as being abused; many think they are special. By the time they figure it out, many of them are f'd up for the rest of their lives. Once they age out, they are thrown away. It takes time to figure out they were just servicing the trainer and selling horses for a pimp. I believe there will be more of these. But I'm sure y'all can too.


                                    • 4LeafCloverFarm I’m so sorry you had to endure that. It does provide an example of why people don’t just speak up.
                                      The Evil Chem Prof


                                      • Originally posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
                                        I got the email this morning.
                                        Does that Sara Cavangh own that source?


                                        • Are the ISWGers pointedly refusing to read the Safe Sport procedures?