Los Banos, CA – As the saying goes,” A lady always knows when to leave the stage.” Just when I thought things in the surf industry were about to get really good for everyone, the greed machine took over. The Association of Surfing Professionals’ Rip Curl Pro Search disaster was the straw that broke this lady’s back.
As of today, I will no longer support the ASP in any of its endeavors until the playing field is equal. The buzz around town is I am not alone in my decision. The world is watching the changes in every aspect of the sport and considering the recent resignation of Brodie Carr things aren’t looking any better.
In actuality, I am giving up everything that has to do with mainstream action sports media. I didn’t create (WUN) Magazine for the drama and greed that I’ve had to endure during the process. The industry brings out the worst in people. It’s time for this “lady” to leave, but on to better things.
I made a choice the day before Kelly’s first win. I said to Duncan Garrett, “If I find one reason not to attend the day Kelly won, I would leave the business. I’ll know then, that I just don’t care anymore.” Occupy Oakland was at its peak. That is when it hit me, “Why I am supporting a racist, greed ridden, fake machine like the ASP when so much is going on in the world?”
The ASP has changed so much in such a short period it’s almost unrecognizable. I have no passion to bear witness to the commercialism that has taken over what was considered a counter-culture sport. But, the greed machine is what the entire action sports industry is about.
Participants are looking more and more like stock cars. Logos are all over the place. Surfers are now playing let’s see how many logos we can place on a single item before there is no more room. A far cry distance from the “Beach Blanket Bingo” I fell in love with as a child. In my mind’s eye a perfect Utopia.
The ASP is notorious for being overly ambitious from its beginning, but this time the machine even over stepped itself. During the recent Rip Curl Pro Search in San Francisco, CA the ASP came under fire for naming Kelly Slater the world champion prematurely. Short on points Slater actually needed to go on to another heat.
Celebrations rang out that day with merchandise all over the place – wait, let’s back up a millisecond – and how about the timing, the 1st anniversary of former world champion, Andy Irons’ death. May Andy rest in peace.
So let’s get this straight, in one day, the ASP disses on Owen Wright & Andy Irons and for what? Selling t-shirts. Anyone with ANY marketing or common sense could see that sales pitch in their minds.
“Oh, how great would it be if Kelly won on Andy’s death anniversary.” Now marred by, “Oh, this was the day Kelly Slater won the 11th world title the first time.”
Close your eyes, you can see it too. Only it didn’t work out that way; now the ASP’s slip is showing. Don’t get mad at me, I am not the only one who saw that disgusting display of commercialism. Please, you could have celebrated Andy’s life and then held the contest the day after.
Pro-surfer, Bobby Martinez’s outburst at the NYC ASP contest was classic. He could no longer hold back his emotions as he blasted the ASP for the new changes in the “Dream Tour”, calling it a “tennis tour”. He then added his disdain for the tennis circuit, a hilarious, yet well felt sentiment. The ASP immediately suspended Bobby indefinitely. Bobby was suspended for telling the truth.
I spent my last six years trying to help athletes of color or disadvantage be a part of the Association of Surfing Professionals, but why be a part of an organization hell-bent on bold-face racism, sexism, homophobia, greed and ignorance.
It’s time for me to leave it alone. I’ll say good-bye to the machine and say hello to the Inkwell Nappy Roots Surf Camp, my youth organization.
Here is Bobby Martinez’s rant:
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