News hit the wire Friday skateboarding phenom Paul Rodriguez inked himself a deal with Target, following in the footsteps of Shaun White, Kolohe Andino, and Nate Adams.
Shortly after Shaun White signed with Target, we came up with the brilliant idea to have his own clothing line with Target and left the wholesome partnership he had enjoyed with Volcom for years and years, after they believed in him from an incredibly young age. Actions like this do not help a professional athletes image among the incredibly opinionated fanbase of action sports. These superstars always remember to thank the fans during their interviews, but do they really care? Or does it just come down to money in their pockets over progress of our sports as a whole?
Rodriguez is a surprise here, too. He’s always been active in the community, and after he won the first Maloof Cup in 2008, he took his winnings and opened up his very own skateshop. That was a respectable move, opening a core skate shop so kids have a place to get their gear…without needing to visit a Target.
The problem with these big corporate sponsors is that they take our top athletes and give nothing back. There is no Target-sponsored contest with a huge cash purse for the winner. They don’t film a video. They definitely don’t help skateboarding or snowboarding. Joining the Target team is basically the action sports equivalent of leaving the Red Sox to sign a big money deal with the Yankees.
Paul had this to say about turning his back on core skateboarding, “I grew up right across the street from a Target and have many memories of skating over to the store as a kid.” Really Paul? Growing up across the street from a Target makes it a legitimate decision? Sleep well with that ideal, while the rest of us say goodbye to our hopes and dreams since it doesn’t look like the cornfield we grew up across from is offering us any contracts.