Earlier this year, Chad Muska surprised everyone by declining his induction into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame, and nominating Kareem Campbell to take his place. During a new interview with Late Boomers podcast, he breaks down why he came to this decision. This is the first time that he’s spoken on turning down one of skateboarding’s top honors since making the announcement last June.
Street skateboarding has influenced street culture on a whole, from streetwear to music. All of these things were birthed from ‘90s skateboarding…Skateboarding for so long was a predominantly white, Souther California-based sport, hobby, lifestyle; whatever you want to call it. And for many years, there were not many ethnicities that were partaking in this sport.
In the ‘90s, a whole group of street skaters came along that were Black, Mexican, Asian, [from] all across the map. All of a sudden, skateboarding became this racially diverse, financially diverse, globally diverse [thing]. Everybody started skateboarding.
So it was very important to me that if an institution like the Skateboarding Hall of Fame exists, that it properly represents the racial diversity within skateboarding. And I felt at the time, that it did not reflect that at all, especially from my era.
So I declined my induction into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame this year because given the state of the world, and everything that is going on… this was the best thing that I could do: offer my position to a black professional street skateboarder, Kareem Campbell; who was my mentor coming up; who designed footwear before me; who started his own company before me.
I came to L.A. as a kid, and I met him as a pro that I looked up to. So I thought: “No matter what his race is, he should have that spot before I did.” But given him being a black professional skateboarder—and influencing all of these millions of black skateboarders that are around nowadays—it was so important for me to put that message out there.
As always, Muska inspires. Listen the full interview below. The bit about the Skateboarding Hall of Fame starts at 31:21.