Everybody loves pro skater Tony Hawk. Heck, there are numerous memes about.
Hawk’s enthusiasm for skateboarding and light teasing of his fans has solidified him as an internet darling. Now, the legendary athlete is giving everyone another reason to support him: Hawk is renaming an iconic trick in his Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game series to honor its creator Chris Weddle. But this homage is a lot bigger than just giving Weddle props.
The trick was originally dubbed the “mute grab” in 1981 when Weddle debuted it. But Weddle is deaf. People weren’t as well-versed or sensitive about disabled people at the time. The Americans with Disabilities Act was not passed until 1990 — and even today we’ve got a long way to go.
Hawk acknowledged the issue with the choice of language writing on Instagram:
“For nearly 40 years, we’ve shamelessly referred to this trick as the ‘mute’ air/grab… Chris was the first to do [it], 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.”
Weddle is still an active skateboarder and in recent years people have asked him about the name of the trick.
“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,” Hawk wrote. “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.”
Hawk credited Weddle and skater Darrick De La O for being great advocates of the deaf community in action sports.
Many folks on Twitter praised Hawk for listening and making the long-overdue correction.
“This is rad and a great example of how simple it can be to make amends to historically marginalized communities,” one person wrote.
“Met him a couple of times, he’s really wonderful,” another said.
Want more feel-good content? Check out this teen’s one-armed golf swing that caught the attention from golf legends.
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