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George Morris on the SS list

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  • Does not the Sherman Act only prohibit the "unreasonable" restraint of trade?

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Jonathan Hart View Post
      I am Michael Hart’s brother and have been expecting this day to come since I first read MidgeToo’s post on May 16, 2009 over on The Manure Pile. It was a post of a PM sent to MidgeToo by someone going by the name ‘abcdefghi’ that mentioned Michael as one of GM’s victims. It was long post I won’t share unless people want to read what I am referring to. In 2013 I made an angry reply as I just wanted my brother left out of the conversation. As everyone knows, he passed away in 1995 so I saw no reason to bring him into this 34 years after his time at Hunterdon and 14 years after his passing.

      This is is what bothers me most. Everyone knew about GM back then yet no one said or did anything about it. Now an 81 year old man is having his life’s work and legacy eradicated in some “Me Too” moment and, in the case of my family, getting calls from the New York Times and others asking us questions about our dead brother and his relationship with an accused pedophile.

      SafeSport exists to prevent future abuse and misconduct, which I fully support, but I don’t know the case against GM furthers their mission. From my chair I see it ruining reputations, opening old wounds of families and victims, dividing the community, and harming the sport.

      There is much more I could add but I’ve said enough. For the readers who knew my brother, you know
      I am so sorry for your loss and for what your family is going through.

      Jonathon, the biggest value to George Morris being banned is that it shows that no one is above scrutiny. He is the biggest name in this sport has been revered, even worshipped, for decades, and now has been investigated and banned.

      This WILL help deter future abuse. In the past, if someone got to a certain level they had immunity and could do as they pleased with no repercussions regardless of the harm they caused.

      That time is over. Even the "god" of h/j is not above investigation. Even if gm is past his prime abusing years, the message has been sent that there is no level high enough to avoid investigation and public announcement of the ban.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by bip View Post
        For those worried that this doesn’t prevent future abuse, think of the kids in abusive situations now who have been thinking, “No one will believe me”. This should give them hope that no matter how powerful the trainer, if they are abusing kids, SafeSport will investigate and ban.
        Perfectly said, and key to this whole endeavor.

        Sure, shining the spotlight on historic abusers and applying modern sanctions finally gets them off the playground and that's vital, but the critical message being relayed to kids by SafeSport now is, we got you -
        Last edited by ohmyheck; Aug. 11, 2019, 02:03 PM. Reason: sp
        One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
        William Shakespeare

        Comment


        • 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.
          As a retired law professional, this bothers me, too. Any "verdict" is suspect when the arbitrator is not held to the same standard or rule of law as a court would be. People defending this SS process would do well to review history, particularly with regard to the McCarthy era. It raises all sorts of alarm bells for me.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by YankeeDuchess View Post

            That is partly my point; SafeSport does not apply their “AOC is 18 even if in your state the AOC it is 16” retroactively. So if SafeSport is going after him for something in 1968 (Soresi) it would be because the victim was under 16.
            This is a lightbulb moment for me, thanks for spelling that out! It clears up and puts to bed all of those rebuttals and back and forths about 'age of the teenager in question' throughout these conversations.
            One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
            William Shakespeare

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Go Fish View Post

              As a retired law professional, this bothers me, too. Any "verdict" is suspect when the arbitrator is not held to the same standard or rule of law as a court would be. People defending this SS process would do well to review history, particularly with regard to the McCarthy era. It raises all sorts of alarm bells for me.
              Oh brother, are we still mired in these thoroughly debunked ideas about SS?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Go Fish View Post

                As a retired law professional, this bothers me, too. Any "verdict" is suspect when the arbitrator is not held to the same standard or rule of law as a court would be. People defending this SS process would do well to review history, particularly with regard to the McCarthy era. It raises all sorts of alarm bells for me.
                Really? As a former law professional, surely you know lawyers can be disbarred without being held to the same rule of law as a court, right? Doctors can lose their license to practice medicine based on the same 'preponderance of evidence' that GM faced.
                *****
                You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                Comment


                • is it properly an "appeal", which would be a very unusual procedure for arbitration, or is a a de novo fact finding, which is what most arbitrators do. I know that in the Caster Semenya process before CAS, it was a full blown fact finding hearing.

                  As someone who was once an arbitrator long ago, I can tell you that arbitration does not necessarily follow the same evidentiary rules as the court system. But in general arbitrators are not selected from a random group of people, even professional people; there are very different arbitrator selection processes, depending on the context of the governing "law", i.e contracts, labor contracts, or special laws requiring arbitration like Safe Sport.. The procedure that arbitrators use is established by the governing system that gives them jurisdiction, which they must stay within.

                  It isn't a free wheeling situation at all.
                  Last edited by vineyridge; Aug. 11, 2019, 06:03 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Go Fish View Post

                    As a retired law professional, this bothers me, too. Any "verdict" is suspect when the arbitrator is not held to the same standard or rule of law as a court would be. People defending this SS process would do well to review history, particularly with regard to the McCarthy era. It raises all sorts of alarm bells for me.
                    Well, what I know about law can fit into a thimble, so I recognize your knowledge far outweighs mine. But from my coursework in education law, I also understand that an organization can be found negligent if there is a preponderance of evidence that an individual is causing harm to members of the organization, yet they fail to take action.

                    So...
                    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                    Comment


                    • The ONLY person who damaged George H. Morris’ legacy is George H. Morris. If he wanted to be remembered only for his superlative equestrian skills, he shouldn’t have also been an abuser.

                      Comment


                      • Was wondering. Is McLain Ward one of the ISWG signatories? I've stayed far away from them online.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by YankeeDuchess View Post

                          That is partly my point; SafeSport does not apply their “AOC is 18 even if in your state the AOC it is 16” retroactively. So if SafeSport is going after him for something in 1968 (Soresi) it would be because the victim was under 16.
                          Same sex intercourse wasn’t de-criminalized nationwide until rather recently - Look at FL, wasn’t decriminalized until 2003!

                          I hope they update their retroactive enforcements for instances of sexual abuse. Pedophiles don’t change their habits. Grown men with high schoolers is never acceptable.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post
                            fordtraktor while I see your argument I don’t think it’s going to fly. There are several banned for life trainers that still have a thriving business. Living proof that a ban by Safe Sport will not meet the three prong test of its sanctions violating the Sherman Act.
                            I'm skeptical about the persuasive value of anecdotal evidence along the lines of "Look! BNT X was banned for life and people are still sending their horses to train with him and going to his private clinics!"

                            As far as I can tell, the people you are referencing were already famous and highly regarded before they were banned. They got there BECAUSE they had years of access to USEF and FEI shows, with all the press coverage, published results, networking, and reputation-building that goes with it. Without that access, they never would have made it.

                            Show me a no-name young trainer who gets banned and still manages to achieve financial and reputational success in the h/j world at a serious level. I think it's highly unlikely to happen, because few parents or horse-owners will send their kid or young hunter/jumper to a trainer who can't take them to any recognized shows.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Horsegirl's Mom View Post

                              I'm skeptical about the persuasive value of anecdotal evidence along the lines of "Look! BNT X was banned for life and people are still sending their horses to train with him and going to his private clinics!"

                              As far as I can tell, the people you are referencing were already famous and highly regarded before they were banned. They got there BECAUSE they had years of access to USEF and FEI shows, with all the press coverage, published results, networking, and reputation-building that goes with it. Without that access, they never would have made it.

                              Show me a no-name young trainer who gets banned and still manages to achieve financial and reputational success in the h/j world at a serious level. I think it's highly unlikely to happen, because few parents or horse-owners will send their kid or young hunter/jumper to a trainer who can't take them to any recognized shows.
                              I hear your point that repercussions my ultimately be very different for a "legend" versus a "normal" person. But regardless, many SafeSport banned individuals still seem to be making a living.

                              For example, Tom Navarro, while locally successful, certainly isn't a household name in the sport.

                              He was found permanently ineligible through SafeSport. At one time, it said "subject to appeal." That has since been removed, leading me to believe the appeal process is complete.

                              His farm website still touts him as trainer/owner/manager. It still lists big name sponsors such as Stubben and SmartPak. He is allegedly still active on local show circuits.

                              If you google the others on the SafeSport sanctions list, you will find active websites advertising horse services for quite a few of them. Several of the others are in jail or were in jail at one time, which I imagine did far more damage to their business than their SafeSport ban.

                              The unfortunate truth is that most people are oblivious to SafeSport, whether they are new to the sport or just inactive with USEF. They don't think, "let me google this riding stable and make sure it's not operated by a sexual predator." Also, even if you did learn of such a ban, you may not know how to process said information, especially when the person seems nice, has hundreds of five star reviews, and a large portion of the equestrian community vocally dismisses the validity of SafeSport.
                              Last edited by Texarkana; Aug. 11, 2019, 05:05 PM. Reason: Typo
                              Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by fargaloo View Post
                                The ONLY person who damaged George H. Morris’ legacy is George H. Morris. If he wanted to be remembered only for his superlative equestrian skills, he shouldn’t have also been an abuser.
                                He shouldn't have gotten his book published either if all he wanted was to be remembered for his superlative equestrian skills.

                                All this raises so many questions about his psychology and history which will never be answered.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                                  Was wondering. Is McLain Ward one of the ISWG signatories? I've stayed far away from them online.
                                  Not that I've seen. I joined just to see what people were saying. What amazes me is how many people who have never met GM are completly certain of his innocense.
                                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                  Comment


                                  • It was really bothering me, the comments people made regarding “ why didn’t the accuser come forward 51 yrs ago”.

                                    So... I took some time to really put myself in this 13 yrs olds shoes. THIS IS Not an actual story..... but something to think about....

                                    Imagine being a 13 yr old kid from a small town, with a love of horses & wanting to be competitive. Your basically a nobody at this point.... until the moment you get noticed at a GM clinic.
                                    All of a sudden... you become a local “ hero” in a sense.
                                    The other kids at your barn are thinking “Wow! If he got scouted by someone big... so could I! It gave other local kids a sense of hope.
                                    Everyone is talking about it... it’s big news. The feed store, the local shows, the tack shop. “ did you hear...Jonny is going to hunterdon to live!” People are stopping your parents in the grocery store, asking about the exciting rumors of Olympic trainers. Your extended family, cousins, Grandparents, etc have all heard the news are everyone is equally excited.

                                    You arrive at hunterdon & everyone is shaking your hand & excited to meet the new kid that “ George has talked so much about”. Your awestruck by the barn, horses, big atmosphere.
                                    George can be mean & intimidating, but all is going well. George is calling your parents Periodically and keeping them “ in the loop about your studies & riding”. He’s telling them about new horses that are coming for you to show.

                                    You Head to your first show. You’ve called your parents & your mom is so excited for you. In fact, her & Dad are coming to watch you! She also tells you that everyone at your old barn, says “ hi”.

                                    At the show, people you don’t know, are talking to you, saying things like, “ your so lucky to be riding with George “.
                                    “ so, your George’s new student, he thinks so highly of you”.

                                    You go to dinner the first night at the show. Your with George & other big trainers & very wealthy clients. You quietly listen to their amazing stories of importing horses & winning.

                                    That night George drives you back to the barn alone......you are doing night check. It’s dark, there is no one around. Then .......... your frozen in fear, your afraid to move, you are 13 , your heart is pounding, your mind is racing. You are terrified. Then HE says, “ Don’t EVER mention what just happened. NO One will ever believe you, anyway !”.

                                    You are silent in the car as He takes you back to the hotel. You Go into your room. The other 2 grooms are already asleep. Your scared, feeling helpless, scared, dirty, afraid, Alone. You quietly slip into bed & cry .

                                    In the morning... your still terrified... who do you tell? Should you tell? When should you tell? The grooms are rushing to get to the show... your body is moving, my mind is shut down. At the show you ride your morning list & as your riding you try to figure out a plan. Meanwhile people are riding up to you & talking. “ your lucky you get to ride this horse, he so nice”. “ what an amazing opportunity you have with George “. You are feeling sick to your stomach.

                                    At this point... your class is about to start & George shows up as if nothing happened. He coaches you and as you walk out of the class...with your blue ribbon, you notice your parents. They are soooo excited to see you & that you won!
                                    George comes over & shakes their hands & tells them what a great kid you are & how helpful you are & also that he has a few new horses arriving at the barn for you. They thank George Immensely For all he’s done for you.

                                    So, now.....in your mind. If you tell them what happened last night. What will happen? Will they believe you? Will you have to go to a police station? Will cops show up to arrest George at the show? will the cops believe him or you? If they do arrest him.. will his clients be mad, cause now they don’t have their trainer? Will everyone at the show be upset? Rumors will fly. People will start talking, you will be labeled. Your parents will be disappointed. All the people from your hometown will wonder why your back home so soon. Then they will hear what happened.... people will talk.

                                    Basically.... in a 13 yr old mind. Nothing good would come out of telling anyone. So, the secret had to be kept. The silence Of the secret had to be kept inside to slowly eat way at you. And the pain of it physically happening over & over.

                                    Perhaps once, you even call your mom & tell her your home sick & need a break. That you want to come home. Maybe she tells you, “. You’ll be find, be tough, it’s normal for you to be homesick, you’ll get over it. You make us proud “.


                                    You feel trapped. Drugs & alcohol come into play as you get older.



                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Horsegirl's Mom View Post

                                      I'm skeptical about the persuasive value of anecdotal evidence along the lines of "Look! BNT X was banned for life and people are still sending their horses to train with him and going to his private clinics!"

                                      As far as I can tell, the people you are referencing were already famous and highly regarded before they were banned. They got there BECAUSE they had years of access to USEF and FEI shows, with all the press coverage, published results, networking, and reputation-building that goes with it. Without that access, they never would have made it.

                                      Show me a no-name young trainer who gets banned and still manages to achieve financial and reputational success in the h/j world at a serious level. I think it's highly unlikely to happen, because few parents or horse-owners will send their kid or young hunter/jumper to a trainer who can't take them to any recognized shows.
                                      I see your point but I also think about people like Sswor who weigh losing their livelihood over speaking out. So my sympathies and I hope any future court ruling would side with the people speaking out over those who commit these atrocities. And sorry one should not be able be a pro working with kids if they commit such crimes.

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by Go Fish View Post

                                        As a retired law professional, this bothers me, too. Any "verdict" is suspect when the arbitrator is not held to the same standard or rule of law as a court would be. People defending this SS process would do well to review history, particularly with regard to the McCarthy era. It raises all sorts of alarm bells for me.
                                        Question - did you actually bother to read up on the SS procedures and long investigations - or did you just go with the frenzied cries of GM is an innocent lamb whose rights were stripped away based on allegations of one little teeny tiny incident 50 years ago? And that this all came about at the last minute based on fables and lies and whatever? Not true. This has been a long and careful investigation... that GM was made aware of along the way.

                                        One of GM's action figures was donated to our therapeutic riding center - push the button and he delivers some minor insults and riding tips. I joked that we should make him Himself On The Shelf and was met with instant backlash from some about my lack of reverence for this "god".

                                        Reverence? I have heard him berate and sneer at riders at his yearly clinic (did not happen the past year...hmmmm ) at the neighboring farm for a few years now. Is it necessary to carry on like that? To call people names? To insult and bully? Why does the riding wisdom have to be coated in layers of drek like that? It doesn't. He just liked/likes doing it.

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by Go Fish View Post

                                          As a retired law professional, this bothers me, too. Any "verdict" is suspect when the arbitrator is not held to the same standard or rule of law as a court would be. People defending this SS process would do well to review history, particularly with regard to the McCarthy era. It raises all sorts of alarm bells for me.
                                          As per SS documentation both on their web site and the USEF has published: The accuser (GM) is notified of the accusation and investigation after SS investigators determine they is enough to move forward with investigation. So- for 1.5 years, according to the article, he has known the accusations etc.
                                          Come to the dark side, we have cookies

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