If you thought that a select few little league parents and mini-racer dads were the only ones who had lost all sense of sportsmanship and honor, you haven’t been paying attention to the Motocross des Nations fiasco that has unfolded over the last couple of days regarding the removal of Mike Brown from Team USA.
After being invited on to the prestigious team over a month ago, Mike Brown was understandably ecstatic. He is currently a privateer who, unlike teammates Ricky Carmichael and Kevin Windham, has never had the opportunity to represent Team USA in the Motocross des Nations before (Brown was named to the 2001 team that withdrew from the race after 9/11). Although Mike Brown has a 125 National Motocross championship on his resume, a stint with Team USA was to be a very important highlight of his career . . . until Wednesday of this week.
According to a press release issued by the AMA, Brown’s “teammates” Ricky Carmichael and Kevin Windham, along with team manager Roger DeCoster “expressed some concerns” to AMA representative Steve Whitelock about keeping Brown on the team, apparently because Brown’s recent results in the 125 Outdoor National Motocross series have been less than stellar. In other words, these individuals decided that, based on recent race results, there might now be someone a little bit faster than Mike Brown, or with access to better equipment than privateer Brown, and the decision was made to unceremoniously kick Brown off the team. Understandably, Brown was devastated by the news.
In case you haven’t noticed, pettiness and dishonorable conduct are alive and well in the world of adults, including the world of your beloved motocross. And for riders who are selected in the future, be warned that the invitation really should be interpreted this way: “you’re on the team, get your sponsors ready, get your time allocated, make arrangements, and dedicate your resources to participating, but we may throw you off the team if you have a few bad races in the meantime, because we won’t let you jeopardize our shot at a shiny first place trophy.” Some things, win or lose, are just plain wrong. This is wrong. Our apologies to Mike Brown.