Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 Changes Ableist Trick Name
The "Mute Grab" name was passed around the skating community for years, but Hawk wants it to honor its creator.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 is bringing back the classic stages and gameplay, but Tony Hawk himself is also seeing to it that the game corrects a past mistake. In an Instagram story, Hawk explained how one particular trick has had its name changed to honor its creator.
As Hawk explains, the "Mute Grab" was first performed around 1981 by deaf skater Chris Weddle. When it came time to name the trick, fellow skaters suggested naming it after the "quiet, mute guy"--despite the fact that Weddle was not mute--and so the name stuck. That name was passed along uncritically by the skating community for years, but recently the skate community has been more aware of issues like these. Hawk says he asked Weddle about it, who said he would have preferred it to be called the "Deaf" or "Weddle" grab.
"So as we embark on the upcoming @tonyhawkthegame demo release, some of you might notice a trick name change: The Weddle Grab," Hawk wrote. "It's going to be challenging to break the habit of saying the old name but I think Chris deserves the recognition."
Hawk went on to say that when he told Weddle the news, he was so excited he shot the attached photo:
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For nearly 40 years, we’ve shamelessly referred to this trick as the “mute” air/grab. Here is the backstory: around 1981, a deaf skater and Colton skatepark local named Chris Weddle was a prominent amateur on the competition circuit. The “Indy” air had just been created & named so somebody proposed that grabbing with the front hand should be known as the “Tracker” air. Others countered that Chris was the first to do, so it should be named after him. They referred to him as the “quiet, mute guy.” So it became known as the mute air, and we all went along with it in our naive youth. In recent years a few people have reached out to Chris (who still skates) about this trick and the name it was given. He has been very gracious in his response but it is obvious that a different name would have honored his legacy, as he is hearing impaired but not lacking speech. I asked him last year as I was diving into trick origins and he said he would have rather named it the “deaf” or “Weddle” grab if given the choice. His exact quote to me was “I am deaf, not mute.” So as we embark on the upcoming @tonyhawkthegame demo release, some of you might notice a trick name change: The Weddle Grab. It’s going to be challenging to break the habit of saying the old name but I think Chris deserves the recognition. Thanks to @darrick_delao for being a great advocate to the deaf community in action sports, and for being the catalyst in this renaming process. I told Chris tecently and his reply was “I’m so stoked!” And then he shot this photo in celebration yesterday. 📷: @yousta_storytellers_club
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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 is coming in September, but a demo of the Warehouse stage will be available this Friday for pre-orders and some of those who bought a special Chipotle promotion. For more details, check out our Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 pre-order guide.
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