Jan 25, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT
It was the hockey fight you didn’t expect to see: Fans at an Anaheim Ducks game brawling over a hockey stick, which was tossed over the boards by Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer. It happened in November, and it turns out that one of the combatants, pro skateboarder Mike Vallely, faced possible police charges for his role in the November fight at Honda Center. Vallely, who had worked closely with the Ducks on a number of promotional projects, was cut off completely by the team following the incident. But the Anaheim city attorney’s office on Friday decided to drop misdemeanor charges against him.
Vallely talked with Out of Bounds about the incident and its aftermath, following the jump.
Vallely, known in skateboarding circles at Mike V, is still upset over the incident and the way it was handled by the Ducks organization.
Here’s the video of the incident at the Honda Center, in which Niedermayer tosses his stick into the stands, intending to give it to Vallely’s eight-year-old daughter, Lucy. A man intercepts it, however, and then Vallely intercedes, believing the man is trying to take the souvenir from his daughter. A fight breaks out and a woman also becomes involved. It’s pretty wild.
If you’re familiar with Mike V and his trademark long blond hair, you’re probably surprised by the guy in the video, who doesn’t look like him at first glance. That’s because, said Vallely, he had just returned from shooting scenes for the movie remake of Red Dawn.
“I had cut off all my hair, because I’m playing a soldier,” Vallely said. “So it doesn’t look like me.”
He said that he was disappointed that the Ducks, who had always treated him “like royalty,” threw him under the bus “at the first sign of trouble.”
“It was a rush to judgment,” he said. “I felt I had no choice but to stop the aggressive actions of the Ducks fan who was attempting to steal a gift from Scott Niedermayer for my daughter. Any parent would do that. And even though there were several people involved in the fight, I was the only one detained by security, I was the only one questioned. No one stepped forward to have my back. That’s not right.”
Vallely ended up with the stick in the incident — no surprise, seeing that he’s a former wrestler — but that his wife got rid of it.
“While I was being questioned by security, she and my daughter were left out in the hall, ignored,” Vallely said. “When she saw how they were treating us, she threw the stick on the floor and said ‘You can shove it. It’s tainted now.’ “
The Ducks cut off all promotional ties with Vallely.
“I had been working with them for four years,” he said. “I wrote a blog on their web site, did some TV programming for them, and I signed a lot of autographs at games. But after the fight, Tim Ryan, the CEO of the Ducks, severed all ties with me.”
It’s all a part of how skateboarders are perceived, says Vallely.
“Skateboarding by its nature is a rebellious activity,” he said. “The way that it tests you as an individual is like nothing else. Skateboarders tend to wear their attitudes on their sleeves, and that makes some people uncomfortable.
“At first, that is what the Ducks organization liked about me. Ryan told me more than once, ‘You guys (skateboarders) bring and edge to hockey. It’s what we need to broaden our appeal.’ But at the first sign of trouble, they throw me under the bus.”
Fighting charges dropped against professional skateboarder Mike V [Los Angeles Times]
Anaheim prosecutors drop all charges against pro skateboarder Mike Vallely [Mike Vallely.com]
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