In solidarity with the protests resulting from the murder of George Floyd that have spread through major cities in the United States, and subsequently gone international, Na-Kel Smith took to Instagram Live last night to air out some of the racism that he’s experienced in skateboarding. Nak speaks on instances that have happened to him personally in vans on trips, during the editing process of videos, and dealing with various industry types. It’s an important and powerful statement that few have had the courage to address publicly. You have to applaud Nak for taking the initiative, as well as Kevin White and Mikey Alfred for joining in on the conversation. It should also be noted that F.A. put its money where its mouth is through donating $20,000 to Black Lives Matter. We encourage you to listen to the full 35 minutes above.
UPDATE 05.05.20: In the aftermath of Na-Kel’s now-viral I.G. Live, Tony Miorana, Julien Stranger, and Kyle Walker have all issued apologies regarding the things brought to light in in the video. You can view them below.
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This is an apology letter Its been long over due, especially now more than ever. At the 2016 soty party i said and did some terrible things. I got a call two days ago about that night. Nakel put up a video about his feelings on racism in skateboarding and that experience came up. I never knew exactly what i said that night. I've only heard bits and pieces and the most dispictable is calling too many people the Nword. It's a vile word and its harsh to hear it. I'v had a steady habit of blacking out and starting shit and that night was a bad one. I want the illegal civ guys to know I'm sorry for treating them like that. I can only imagine how that affected them or how unwelcomed it made them feel. After that I quit drinking and doing drugs. I never want to be that fucked up again.I’ve offended too many people in my life and usually I’d see the person afterwards and apologize and i'd chalk it up to being wasted. This time was the worst. This kinda behavior is my own self hatred spilling onto whoever’s around. I know it sounds like an excuse and maybe it is, but I haven’t been drunk since then and I’m dealing with my issues. I can’t pretend to know how hard black people have it, I only know what I see and hear. To add to those problems in skating or life in general is super fucked up. What I did was selfish and ungrateful, exploding my bullshit on a bunch of people just trying to enjoy there life.Especially Kevin White and Aramis Hudson. This happened 3 and 1/2 years ago and addressing it now is lame I know that, but I want them to know how sorry I am. At the time i was embarrassed and ashamed and I couldnt bring myself to man up and deal with it. I hoped it was gonna get swept away but I knew they wouldn’t forget it even though it wasn’t out to the public. I'm not asking for forgiveness , I know i don't deserve it.Anyone who is friends or fans of there’s I’m sorry to them too. I’m also sorry to everyone on antihero who’s had to deal with a situation I started and get associated with me. Feel free to let me know if I offended you. I rather spend my time helping people out these days than blowing it. Tony Miorana
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3 1/2 years ago at a skater of the year party an antihero rider verbally accosted some black skaters. He called them the N-word and they rightfully beat his ass on the spot. I was disgusted and upset when i heard what he had done. At the time I addressed him privately and his shame and remorse and motivation to get sober over it, made me feel like it was dealt with. I wrote it off as another of Tmo’s drunken nights, looking to offend whoever he could to start a fight and get his ass kicked. I saw the seriousness of his offense as a catalyst for him to make a life change, and i left it at that. Im sorry that i didn’t push him to apologize publicly and state my intolerance to racist rhetoric and behavior back then. I’m sorry to the skateboarding community for my silence. My silence and inaction allowed a mistrust and doubt to grow in our community. And I’m realizing that its that same type of silence that allows racism in general to exist. Never again. I look around at the diversity in skating and think its the most beautiful thing ever. I have always been proud to be a part of something so special in this world, that felt like we were showing the rest of the world what true inclusiveness and equality could look like. Im disappointed that I let down that beautiful vision and I’m going to do everything i can to always keep those ideals central to everything i do going forward ..For skateboarding and for the world -julien
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I need to take a moment on here to admit a past mistake I’ve made. To set the record straight, a few years ago, I was singing along to a rap song and recorded myself saying a hip hop verse which included the N-word. It was dumb as fuck of me to think I could do that. I should’ve known better. I’m deeply sorry to those that were hurt by my use of that word, friends I let down, and anyone that I’ve offended, especially in the Black community. I’ve apologized to Nakel directly, and I want to apologize to all of you, too. I am 100% against racism, hatred and bigotry. I’m not about any of that. But I am accountable for my past actions. I fucked up. I made a change then and I’m making more of a change now. I’m sorry. Stay safe out there, love you all.