There’s No Room For Truth In Rollerblading
I’ve been getting into a handful of arguments and scuttles recently with those involved in the blade game. Whether it be Erick Rodriguez threatening to fly all the way out east to come beat my ass at my door step, or Lonnie “Francisco” telling me I should just quit, you’d think that dudes that risk their lives to look cool wouldn’t be so easily upset over a few words. I guess I was wrong, as then again, the rollerblading industry seems to be just one giant high school more than anything else.
Recently, there has been some controversy concerning Montre Livingston’s departure from Brian Shima’s SSM Boot company. Livingston was discharged from the company via a press release posted on Be-Mag, yet wasn’t made aware of such discharge until he saw the post himself. The argument that developed between me and Mr. Rodriguez was that of basic business ethics and how they aren’t enforced in the slightest in the rollerblading industry. Rodriguez stood to disagree, stating that there is more to it, but failed to specify exactly what “it” was. He went further to knock me for my financial state and stated that because I wasn’t a pro rollerblader, that I couldn’t make any sort of commentary on the matter. Because, you know, you need to be a professional rollerblader in order to understand business and basic law.
Let’s make it pretty simple here, that being of one who rides professionally or represents for a company: you’re a business, you’re an investment, you are there to ultimately sell a product, all the while putting your body on the line, so why in the world wouldn’t you draw up a fucking contract? The problem is, is that most rollerbladers are “buddies”, therefore, they think that their “buds” would never fuck them over. They treat rollerblading as a hobby and few treat it seriously as a career, resulting in fuck overs, non payments, and other problems that would be easily avoided by drawing up a basic contract.
In short, blading needs to grow the fuck up. You need to know your ins and outs of business and legalities, or else you are going to get burned. The biggest mistake anyone can ever make, is trusting any person other than yourself with handling your name and your likelihood in terms of marketing and selling that likelihood. You have to look out for yourself, no one else is going to do that, let alone care to do so either. The problem, ultimately, is that people aren’t acknowledging this. They’re turning a blind eye to it, in fear of a backlash from whomever runs whatever company. This includes bladers, blade media, and anyone in between. No one can have an honest opinion, because everyone is “buds”, and if you piss one of your “buds” off, they’ll maroon you from the industry quicker than you can say “Shima left USD?”. There are very few people that are actually standing up for themselves, talking about the issues, and taking matters into their own hands. The rest, well the rest are just fucking sheep.