Come read the WSL rule book, article 171, "Damage to Surfing's Image."
What an exciting day! Everyone is so upset!
For the record, I think Gudalaskuas won the heat. Didn’t catch Julian or Wilko, no opinion there.
Hilarious to see the WSL take an internet beating. Do you think they care? Is Paul Speaker screaming into his Blackberry? “Get Google on the phone! I won’t take this kind of treatment.”
The anonymous Brazilian contingent is setting social media aflame. Reminding us all that they sure do love sports, but they don’t give two shits for good sportsmanship.
With so much kerfuffle in the air there surely can’t be more. How could a website that thrives on gossip mongering stir up even more drama?
We’ve got the two dubyas, Wilko and Wilson, taking to Instagram to air their grievances. You’ve read them both already.
Wilson: “The Judges might need to take some responsibility for their scores over the past two days. Might be time to put them under the microscope, like they do to us.”
“When sleepless nights, countless hours of preparation and learning hard lessons from past upsets, it’s hard not feel frustrated when not getting rewarded in key moments like this. Might be time to break down what the judges see and understand as good surfing in comparison to what the best surfers in the world see and understand as good surfing, as it could be a little different? @wsl @mattwilko8@gabrielmedina”
Wilko: “It is hard to accept when they make decisions that decide people’s lives and don’t take care to make the decision right and are not at all held accountable.”
Remind me, what’s the WSL’s policy on public criticism? Do they like it?
For more information, let’s take a gander at the WSL rule book. (Emphasis added for our slower readers)
Article 171: Damage to Surfing’s Image
Individuals bound by this Policy shall not engage in any conduct which could cause damage to the image of the sport of surfing. For purposes of this Article, “damage to the image of the sport of surfing” is defined as any act, regardless of time or place, which casts the sport of surfing or WSL in a negative light. Without restricting the application of this Article, “damage to the sport of surfing” will include any comments or broadcast from social media accounts that the Surfer is responsible for. Any Surfer found in violation of this section shall be subject to the following disciplinary action:
(i) Monetary Fines and Disqualification.
The monetary fine amounts for an offense of this Article ranges from $1,000 USD to $50,000 USD per offense.
(ii) Suspension and Expulsion.
Any offender under this Article may be subject to suspension and/or expulsion from an WSL Tour upon the first offense. Where multiple offenses occur within one or more concurrent seasons which demonstrate a pattern of unacceptable conduct, the Surfer may also be subject to suspension and/or expulsion from the WSL.
How will the WSL respond? Will they use the intentionally vague nature of “casts the… WSL in a negative light” as a proverbial newspaper with which they can swat unruly competitors on the snout?
Or will they let the surfers run wild? Unfiltered opinions and honest assessments flying about willy-nilly, nary a PR approved soundbite to be found.
Only time will tell.
Or you can just check Julian’s Insta tomorrow. See if he’s gone into damage control. Should be a pretty good indicator.