UPDATE: Na-Kel Smith Airs Out Racist Experiences in Skating

https://www.instagram.com/p/CA78p96lkN_/

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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CA-fX67lKe5/

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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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