Pushing Forward pt 2
Although our shop is young, our roots in skateboarding and the Ottawa skateboard community are deep. Over the years we've seen great change and progress in shedding the old stigmas associated with skaters and experienced the rise of a more inclusive and welcoming community. Who wouldn't want that? Skateboarding is still gnarly, difficult and dangerous...That's why we love and live it, but it shouldn't be difficult to access and the only traumas it should cause are swollen ankles and a few broken bones.
We're embarrassed to say there’s been an alarming amount of abusive and discriminatory behaviour towards the women’s and LGBTQ+ skate community coming from the boys. Though the instinct seems to be dismissive and unaccountable, this behaviour is our collective problem as a community dominated by men. We all have to educate ourselves and stand up to discrimination, as difficult as it may feel while trying to fit into our own little klicks. Let's kick this off with an example and look inward at our own behavior as a skate shop.
Over the years, we've had our blinders on to the widespread amount of verbal, physical and sexual abuse within the skateboarding community and have supported guys that have actively participated in this behaviour. We justified our actions by prioritizing skateboarding performance over character and we were wrong. Though we were ignorant, we are accountable. We want to change and to apologize
To anyone we’ve hurt through our lack of leadership, we hope to earn your trust and respect and we know this will take time and action.
To the women in our community, we believe you.
We are still consulting and carefully considering concrete actions but this is a commitment to take a firm stand against abuse and be part of the solution. We're powerless without our community and we need everyone's help right now. Change comes from within and actions speak louder than words.
From the bottom of our hearts, we’re grateful to everyone who has helped us grow and we will do better.