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Jul 3, 2001

More E-mails From Readers To And About AMA Pro Racing

Fine, No. Warning, Maybe<BR>After listening to the MP3 file of Mat's comments, I am not sure that a fine is warranted in this case. Although I admit using the word "shit" in a press conference is less than completely professional, I did not hear anything that sounded "detrimental" to the sport of motorcycle road racing. If anything could be inferred from those comments made, to the average listener, it would be that Mat Mladin should be more cautious of his language, as he undoubtedly is if he is around his own children, if he has any. Fine? No, you shouldn't. Warning, yes, maybe so. Thank you for your time in reading this. <BR>Sincerely, <BR>Stanton Simmerson, RN, CRC <BR>Clinical Research Coordinator <BR>Duke University Medical Center <BR><BR>Nothing Wrong With What He Said<BR>I just listened to the Mladin PC and I heard nothing wrong with what he said. This is the United States of America where we have the freedom of speech you have no right to fine him or take any points. If this isn't over turned then I hope they sue the hell out of the AMA. Use your head, you can't play God.<BR>Wade Thalberg<BR><BR><BR>Mladin Should Not Be Fined<BR>I strongly agree that Mladin should not be fined or even reprimanded for his actions, but do think he should have set up a separate interview to vent his well-founded frustrations with the press. Were Mladin an American citizen, the AMA would definitely have infringed upon his constitutional right to free speech and would be open to a lawsuit. But the fact that he is not makes me think that the AMA targeted him as a whipping boy, without fear of legal retribution. I think the AMA needs to take a big step back and take a strong look at itself because it seems that everything that it does, or everything that the media reports, is seriously undermining its credibility.<BR>Ian Crowne <BR>WSMC #122<BR><BR><BR>Mladin Deserves A Slow-moving Pace Car<BR>As a motorcyclist for more than 30 years, I am shocked by Mr. Mladin's public use of the "s" word. Even more disgusting is that he openly voiced his opinion on a matter so trivial as rider safety. Any rider who doesn't realize the AMA knows best should have his competition privileges revoked immediately. Or, perhaps more in keeping with AMA policy, a slow-moving pacecar should be pulled directly into his path during the next race.<BR>mmarchelya<BR><BR><BR>What Did He Say Or Do?<BR>You must be kidding, what did Mat say or do for that fine? He told the truth, the track has been in sad shape and slow riders need to be aware that pole sitters are trying to do just that set fast time! You people in the board need to get a better understanding of what you are doing to the people that you are there to represent it is our A.M.A. <BR> Charles Huffstetler <BR><BR><BR><BR>Surprised To Get Response<BR>A few weeks ago I wrote to voice my concern for track safety. I was surprised to get a response from you. Well, thank you, and I will consider renewing my membership. <BR>Respectfully,<BR>Mark McIntosh <BR><BR>Upset And Disgusted Mother<BR>I am very upset, disgusted and full of questions as to how THIS will be explained away. I had hoped in the drive from one ocean to the next on the other side of the United States, I would become immune to caring anymore to make sense of the present system or be at least too tired to care. Neither has happened. I apologized to my son Ben if being verbal should cause him any flack as a racer within the AMA or with his current team and sponsor affliation or future ones.<BR><BR>Mat Mladin was being used as a whipping post and I want to know why? As a member of the AMA I want to apologize to him. I am appalled. My question is how does one even begin to attempt to take away earned points through the work of physical skills and team efforts in response to an opinion of the racer?????<BR><BR>Profanity? What the dictionary deems meaning to a term and its context within the accepted norm in society of 2001 might be extremely different from an opinion of someone who feels slighted or responsible for a situation not in control of or whatever standard of consciousness one person may hold.<BR><BR>Why on earth would Matt be congenial and cooperative when asked by one AMA official to give his opinion ( along with another well respected,experienced and mature racer) of the track? I was standing there thinking how wonderful it was that the AMA was making real big efforts to work with the riders in safety issues. Silly mother of a racer am I. Mr. Barrick can only work around the BIG OBSTACLES of the AMA and can not be responsible for the negative outbursts from the AMA. Thank you anyway, Mr. Barrick for attempting to move the AMA mentality up a notch or two.<BR><BR>Mat, I would charge to AMA $5000 for that consultation and track opinion.<BR><BR>Listen up. There is big money and big headaches in this business. Mat and the other riders are not just commodities for businesses to make money. This is a serious lifestyle with serious opportunities for serious injury. With the helmet and leather companies and racing accessories continually striving for better and newer technology to cushion the racers against injury---then so should the racers, clubs and racetracks.<BR><BR>As to who had holed up some dollars on a desk for air fences for a someday action in that direction or to who jumped out there and said (more or less) in your face--racers want safety now--and dominoed over $100.000 to the cause--why be shabby and base about it???? I heard nasty remarks from you about a Mr. Ulrich and how the press was trying to eulogize him over the airfence deal. Well, he is still trying to help the club levels with air fence assistance and since my son's teammate was killed at TWS and my son, along with most of the racers come from the clubs so that you can have a job, why not let's look at Mr. Barrick's demeanor at the track-----------I watched in amazement to screaming and profanity and mouthfoaming spitting iinto the face of Mr. Barrick by one said owner of the New Hampshire track. As eves-dropping was unavoidable with ranting tirade from this said owner in the face of Mr. Barrick who was really trying to be calm, resourceful and find a solution befitting the climate and track conditions--all I can keep thinking is "Mr.Owner of the track (who doesn't need the AMA and their riders, according to him) the war is not over and the South will rise again. No wonder I have a problem with yankees.<BR><BR>Why would we as members and racers of the AMA even want to be at a track with that attitude? Why wasn''t he fined for being in public (at an AMA function too) screaming misdemeanors at all of us in the crowd. IT is a federal law that using profanity in public is considered a misdemeanor act and I believe it is finable and class c level. Is this correct??? I also believe the fine is $500. Do you know??? Why is the track owner not fined? Who is responsible for protecting the riders and spectators at an AMA event from this type of abuse? When private land is used for public use, he can not hide under the "private property deal and speak his mind" or can he? <BR><BR>If the federal government only fines a particular amount, how can the AMA come up with the amount of $5000 and how do the sponsors feel about their rider not being allowed to express his private and personal opinion--especially when it is in regards to safety??<BR><BR>Does this mean a rider will get fined for his perception of a race, conditions, a person--because if so, my son will not be allowed to say anything in public, podium, interviews etc... outside of THANK YOU TO MY SPECIFIC SPONSORS and then list them because I cannot afford fines of this nature. If our government would implement your fine tactics there would be social security for me after all. <BR><BR>All of the above is truth in my opinion as I have witnessed, heard and read and should not reflect my son, his sponsors or any affiliation. I need answers, my son wants to race and in order for me to assist him in this endeavor--I need to know what the rules really are for him to be able to do this. <BR><BR>Thank you,<BR>Mary Spies<BR><BR><BR><BR>Faith-restoring<BR>What you're doing is faith-restoring, in democracy. You're almost my hero. I'm glad my e- mail was the first you ran, and I hope it served to open the floodgates.<BR><BR>But as a user of your site, I'd like to email the editor with these questions:<BR><BR>1. What's Mladin saying/doing about all this?<BR><BR>(He's appealing the fine and has consulted with lawyers….JU)<BR><BR>2. Why is Suzuki so silent?<BR><BR>(They're working behind the scenes….JU)<BR>3. What does the AMA rulebook say about fines? Do they dock it from his purse, or expect him to sit down and write a check to the AMA (and in the lower left corner, where it says FOR, he might note "shit")?<BR><BR>(They expect him to write a check….JU)<BR><BR>3. Where is Suzuki's PR person?<BR><BR>(Mark Reese, Suzuki PR man, said they're glad the AMA is considering the appeal, and hope to obtain a postive result…JU)<BR><BR>4. What's wrong with Running the AMA party line and then no more.<BR><BR>(TV is not journalism…JU)<BR><BR>5. Who is Mark Mitchell?<BR><BR>(I give up, who is he?….JU)<BR><BR>6. Is everybody in bed with everybody?<BR><BR>(Apparently so…..JU)<BR><BR>Keep up the good work.<BR>Sam Moses<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>Disappointed By The AMA's Behavior<BR>As an Australian who keenly follows the AMA Superbike Championship, I am disappointed by the AMA's behavior in the recent disagreement with Mat Mladin's conduct.<BR><BR>You enjoy probably the premier National Superbike series in the world, which attracts talent and fans from as far away as my own country. The AMA has spent a small fortune in time, effort and money to promote and improve the series and has done a fantastic job with a sport which is traditionally hard to market in the USA.<BR><BR>There will always be those who disagree with the way the series is run, organized and promoted. Having had criticism from all corners, I presume you are familiar with the fact that people who have a strong opinion tend to air their opinion where it is most likely to be heard. And I would like to believe that you support the rights of each of those people to express their opinion, regardless of the merit of their point of view.<BR><BR>Mat Mladin is an experienced and champion superbike racer - someone whose opinions on motorcycle racing could probably be considered to have some merit. Mat is one of those lucky people who have available to them the forum of the press, because of his champion status.<BR><BR>Mat obviously has strong opinions, and a right to air them.<BR><BR>I have listened to the interview in which you have decided Mat conducted himself in a way which was detrimental to the sport.<BR><BR>He appeared to have a legitimate criticism of a particular journalist and his report, and expressed confusion with the way press conferences are organized, blaming that confusion for his failure to appear at an earlier conference.<BR><BR>He roundly rejected claims that money had been spend at Road Atlanta (sic) to improve facilities and safety for motorcycle racing, offering instead that the money had been spent to improve conditions for NASCAR racing.<BR><BR>He used the word "shit" once, to describe the press situation in general, without directing it at any particular person. This is a word which is now in common use on public television. In an adult setting, I feel it would be puerile to object to the word.<BR><BR>He felt that Larry Pegram and Eric Bostrom didn't get out of his way on their slow-down lap while he was on a qualifier.<BR><BR>Mat may not be the world's best orator. Nor may his opinions sit comfortably with the AMA, or some of it's members. However, I frankly cannot see that Mat's expression of his legitimate opinions in the forum available to him constitutes "detrimental conduct".<BR><BR>The sport is not brought into disrepute because Mat Mladin has opinions.<BR><BR>The sport is not brought into disrepute because Mat Mladin used one mildly offensive word.<BR><BR>The fine and penalty levied on Mat by the AMA just seems a bit silly to me, and at worst, could be considered spiteful. It's clear that the AMA and Mat Mladin do not see eye-to-eye on several topics. I can't see anything wrong with that. In fact, I think it's a healthy state of affairs. And it certainly does not bring the sport into disrepute.<BR><BR>I don't know where you can go from here. I do ask you, as a person who enjoys the AMA Superbike Championship and Mat Mladin's talents equally, that if you have the opportunity to modify the position that you have taken, please consider that option seriously. For the good of the sport.<BR><BR>Thank you for your attention,<BR>Yours Sincerely,<BR>D. Gibbons<BR>Victoria, Australia<BR><BR><BR>Absolutely Unjustifed…<BR>This is my protest against the Mladin fine. It was and is ABSOLUTELY UNJUSTIFIED!!!<BR><BR>Mladin was simply stating the facts. The safety of the New Hampshire International Speedway has not improved in 12 months. Indeed this facility should not be used for for Superbikes at all. They are simply too powerful for the track.<BR><BR>I've listened to Mladin's interview--twice. He said one "foul" word, "shit," once. I believe he was referring to the AMA's misconstruing of some previous statements of his when he remarked, "I'll say now I'm tired of reading some shit." Earlier in the interview Mladin had complained about being misquoted (by the AMA), saying "I'm pretty tired of seeing stuff that actually isn't happening," and he had complaining about AMA disorganization.<BR><BR>This is what he got fined $5000 for: justifiably criticizing the New Hampshire International Speedway and the AMA. Fined for using foul language? Oh come on!!! Don't give me any of that SHIT!!!!!!!<BR><BR>I am a lifetime member of the AMA. I am thinking of burning my membership card. I pity the poor professionals that have the misfortune to race under the AMA's banner!<BR>Vic Norton<BR>AMA Member<BR><BR><BR><BR>Has Trouble Believing It's The Same Interview<BR>I've recently listened to Mladin's interview that earned him a fine and loss of a point. I have trouble believing that this is the same interview that the AMA released a media report of. It sounds to me that the AMA is an unprofessional organization, that is trying to silence genuine complaints by intimidation. You could consider a more open line of communication with your people, and acting on feedback to produce a better product.<BR>Regards<BR>Colin Linz<BR><BR><BR><BR>Shame On The AMA<BR>I suppose my disgust for the AMA Pro Racing really started this year. I had noticed bits and pieces in the past, but paid them no heed since I was more enthralled with the racing than the politics that surround it. For some reason I began to notice oddities at first such as allowing the switching bikes during the Daytona 200, to the more recent and amazingly unjustified disqualification of Chuck Chouinard. Now they have even one-upped their previous efforts of retardation and gone and fined and removed points from Mat Mladin for voicing his opinion. An opinion I might add that is most likely shared by each and every racer that risks his well being on a race weekend. I joined the AMA to help be part of the solution, to do my part by supporting those that supposedly protect my sport. But now I see that they are bitter and reactive instead of supportive and proactive. Shame on the AMA. Shame. <BR>Jason Hatfield<BR><BR><BR><BR>Words, Just Words…<BR>Reading and listening to this all.........???? I wonder, what is the big deal here. Who's little soul did he step on??? The man is expressing himself and I just can't see anything wrong with that. Foul language????<BR>Words, just words..........if this will set the AMA off, what will be next?<BR>Grow up!! Stop annoying people you depend on. I'm a race fan, not just Mat, all racers. They make the show happen, and the visitors come to see them. Thanks for listening.<BR>Rik Wesselius<BR><BR><BR>Track Officials Are Typical Rednecks<BR>Good for him for speaking his mind in a respectful manner. I take his side because I live in Vermont and do not find it hard to believe that the caretakers of the New Hampshire International Speedway are typical redneck NASCAR fans, and don't take into account the needs of motorcyclists when preparing the track for the year. <BR><BR><BR><BR>Mat Should Be Fined, But In Regards To 600cc Supersport Deal, What Is Wrong With You!?<BR>I am a road racer, an enormous road race fan and I will never be an AMA member. First I must admit that I support the fact that there was a fine levied on Mat Mladin. However, profanity and detrimental comments should be far from the reason why. Mat's disrespectful comments towards Bostrom and Pegram should carry some penalty, as it would in any other sport, i.e. basketball, baseball, etc. The Dallas Maverick's owner has displayed disrespect towards officials quite often, and has had to pay for his words/actions on every occasion. The comments Mat had about the racetrack are founded comments from a national champion. I don't think anyone can say that he doesn't know what he is talking about, and for that reason alone, action should be taken in either a precautionary respect, or the track should be replaced on the schedule. That should go for the rest of the tracks as well. As far as Mr. Vanderslice's actions at Loudon with the 600 Supersport race, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!? Racers were willing to ride on a historically dangerous track in wet conditions if you would have simply let them take 20 extra minutes to sight the track and prepare for the conditions. 20 minutes. You obviously lack the kind of objectivity and common sense that is required to be in charge an anything other than your own life. <BR>Mike Endzel<BR><BR><BR><BR>And About That 600cc Supersport Race…<BR>I just wanted to bring up something else to your attention about this year's National at Loudon. I contacted Speedvision after the National regarding when the 600SS would air. They replied with two dates and times. These spots were actually filled with the Superbike race. I contacted Speedvision again, and this time received a response stating that due to technical difficulties, they do not have the race on tape.<BR> <BR>It seems quite a coincidence that the race where no pro's raced, due to another screw up by the AMA, will never be shown. <BR>Thanks,<BR>Charles Fowler<BR>LRRS #111<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>
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