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Jun 26, 2001

Journalist Sam Moses Weighs In On Mladin Press Conference Controversy

In an e-mail sent to AMA Pro Racing CEO Scott Hollingsworth, AMA Pro Racing Director of Competition Merrill Vanderslice and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of AMA Pro Racing, Mark Tuttle, noted motorcycle and automotive journalist Sam Moses wrote:<BR><BR>"I have read the transcript of Mladin's statement, closely and carefully. It seems to me he now has a legal case against the AMA, based on repression of his rights. Unless, of course (as is likely), there is some contract that AMA riders must sign to get their license, which in vague fine print frees the AMA to do anything it wants, and forbids riders from doing or saying anything the AMA decides it doesn't like.<BR><BR>"I would say the AMA's actions are plain silly, if free speech weren't the issue. I will say they are stupid, arrogant, short-sighted, self-destructive, and, one would hope, terminally infected with power madness.<BR><BR>"The AMA's press release is worse than misleading, it's dishonest. 'At times using profanity,' it says, deliberately suggesting the image of Mladin publically cursing people out. He used one four-letter word, one time, and not at all gratuituously. He simply said he was tired of this shit, referring mostly to inaccurate reporting by journalists, and also to the AMA's own disorganization. I suspect that expression would reflect the feelings of 90 percent of the professional riders in the paddock. The field for the 600 SuperSport race might be evidence.<BR><BR>"And imagine, the AMA coming to the defense of the reputation of a reporter. Don't make me laugh.<BR><BR>"If some of Mladin's comments about the track were incorrect, it was handled in the proper manner when Jerry Wood issued a statment addressing and rebutting them.<BR><BR>"Mladin's comments represent criticism that could be used constructively. They are the opinions of an intelligent, experienced, highly respected<BR>champion, on how the sport might be improved. The fact that he made them in opening his press conference should be taken as an indication that he feels strongly about them. That they were wrapped in disgust is understandable.<BR><BR>"Mladin sounded like Kenny Roberts, Sr., up there in that press conference, and for that we should all rejoice.<BR><BR>"The AMA press release accuses Mladin of raising personal issues. No, Mladin raised issues that affect the sport, including accurate reporting. It's the AMA's issues with Mladin that are personal.<BR><BR>"It's the AMA's conduct, not Mladin's, that is detrimental to the sport. He did nothing but earn credibility by his statements, in the minds of all<BR>fair-thinking people who care about the sport. And the AMA continues to destroy its own, by being so pathetically threatened.<BR><BR>"Sam Moses<BR>"Road racing fan, competitor and journalist since 1971"<BR>