It’s something I’ll never understand.
It’s something I’ll never understand.
Lead Photo By: James Lissimore
I actually just told a lie in that lead-in sentence. I understand the stalemate of the following conundrum, as a man who prides himself on logistics, efficiency and an OCD-like comitment to pragmatic problem solving, I CANNOT wrap my head around it.
It’s an issue very much related to the recent rash of races added to the schedule by, shocker, the Energy Drinks that appear to be the tail wagging the dog of professional Supercross and Motocross. More specifically, the riders plastered with these drinks’ logos. It’s all about the riders and their inability to take a stand for themselves and by extension a stand for the riders-body that makes up this sport we are all so passionated about.
Situations like this, where “employees” are taken advantage of, are the exact reason workers unions ever came into existence. In my personal opinion, workers unions of today have veered into a bastardization of their original inception but such is life in a world of lawyers and technicalities cited on both sides of the argument.
Unions can absolutely take things to a ridiculous level, much the same way an employing body can. It’s this push and pull that make workers rights such a hot button issue.
With specific regard to professional SX and MX racers though, there absolutely must be a common ground basis that riders can agree upon as the foundartion for lengthenin their careers. Whether that be taking a stand against track obstacles or conditions deemed dangerous or a schedule which provides for an actual off-season where racers can allow full recovery to their bodies from either lingering injury or simply the vigors of the training and racing calendar.
There are plenty of retired racers who could be the vocal face of such a group but it would have to be someone who has no ties to any of the sponsors involved in the promotion of racing or any series.
The part that really confounds my confusion with the reluctancy to start such an organization is all the good it could do that it is not doing. I swear, if there’s one thing that irritates me more than anything else in this world, it’s easily avoidable problems. It really grinds my gears to see fall out from a problem that could have been avoided so easily by simply using foresight… ahem, are you listening AMA 4 stroke CC rule??
So, are riders dumb? Scared? Preoccupied? Narccicistic? Stubborn? Ok, I think I just stumbled onto why this has never really gotten any traction. Riders are all of these things and more. Some less but mostly all of these things and each of these things in and of itself is a big hurdle to get over before they could even consider think of the greater good of the rider-body as a whole, regardless of the positive effects it could have on their own career. Like they always say, hindsight is 20/20.
It’s really an awkward situation. Riders are afraid or to distracted to form any type of representational body for themselves yet Feld is likewise afraid to institute too many changes in format for fear the teams’ feathers will be ruffled. Maybe it isn’t the “evil” promoters who are to blame but yet the teams who play a convincing game of passive aggressive management.
In the end, it’s a rider union who will look out for the welfare of the people who matter, the racers. Team’s and their support of a racer are temporary, a promoter doesn’t give a shit about a racer and a racer’s “pull” is only as strong as his last title is fresh. Utilizing a unified voice in the name of riders rights seems like such an obvious necessity, I feel like my pointing it out is ridiculous.
Almost as ridiculous as the fact that I know it will never happen because the last thing these top level riders want to do is show any type of commong ground with their adversaries.