Cori Schumacher Women's World Longboard Champion

Women's World Longboard Champion Cori Schumacher has decided to boycott the 2011 World Tour because of an event being held in Hainan, China. Photo: ASP


The Inertia

Although there are only two scheduled events on the 2011 ASP Women’s Longboard World Tour, current World Champion Cori Shumacher does not plan to compete in either of them. In a statement to the ASP, Schumacher says that she takes political and moral issue with participating in the Tour’s second contest located in Hainan Island, China.

Schumacher stated the following in an email to ASP administrators:

“I have deep political and personal reservations with being a part of any sort of benefit to a country that actively engages in human rights violations, specifically those in violation of women. The ASP’s reconnoissance (sic) of possible sites in China for events last year and its first ASP event in China followed an important US congressional hearing on China’s “One Child Policy”, a policy sanctioned by the Chinese government that is implicated in gendercide, sexual slavery, forced sterilization and forced abortions. (http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/index.php?nav=congressional)

The ASP is the recognized “governing body of surfing”, an entity that expresses and represents surfing’s highest aspirations and goals. That the ASP is colluding with a government that actively engages in human rights violations and crimes against humanity is profoundly disturbing to me. That the first event of consequence to be held in China is a WLT, women’s world championship deciding event is equally, if not more, disturbing to me personally. I do not believe that the ASP and the surf industry exist in some apolitical vacuum in this situation.

It is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that I am morally obligated to pass on this year’s WLT events. I have no doubt that my peers will represent the beauty and grace of women’s longboarding in these events, and I wish them the best of luck.”

ASP CEO Brodie Carr responded to Schumacher’s concerns with the following email:

This event is an opportunity for female longboarders to be ambassadors of goodwill in a land that seldom afforded role models of this kind. In my humble opinion, I believe you can do so much more good by going there and inspiring the people of this country than by protesting.

Over the past two years both the ASP and the Women Longboarders have worked hard towards a better tomorrow for this beautiful sport and we’re on the verge of making our first major headway in this area. As reigning ASP Women’s World Champion, and an icon to female athletes around the world, we would love to have your support on this and for you to attend.

Despite Carr’s appeal, Schumacher remains resolved in her stand.

“I think that what I, and other female longboarders, are being asked here to be are “goodwill ambassadors” of the most naive kind. The kind that allows business to overlay their desires, branding and business ethics atop their own individuality and ethics…As a business, I understand the ASP is just as much in peril of economic disruption as the rest of us. We are all struggling to make our bills, pay our rent and feed our families. But if it is at the cost of someone else’s human rights, I would rather go without.”

  • Michael Touchy

    She should go there, rip, and inspire the Chinese people instead of boycotting their government. China probably won’t care that she is boycotting, but maybe some local female fans will. Just sayin’

  • Petebowes

    What exactly has this lady given up? – It’s not as if she has won the contest and refused the prize – How will this help the Chinese if they never hear of it?

  • FirstLast

    It brings attention to an issue that needs it. It got us talking. It got us thinking. I bet someone in their government will hear of this, perhaps not the people due to censorship.

    Still, we are the ones who support that government with our purchases and our own governmental policies.

    http://fourgentlemen.blogspot.com/2011/02/open-letter-to-national-peoples.html

  • olewalrus

    ASP can’t even clean up their own house, how can they get involved in international events? ASP and their Sponsors watched Andy Irons kill himself, condones thug behavior on the beach(Sunny and friends) and puts up the face of ‘surfing is wonderful’ and contest surfing improves the sport……Go Cory, take a stand! Tommy Curren, Tom Carroll and others did with South Africa in the ’80′s

  • Stu

    really? Who cares? Is Cori even remotely aware of what the US government does each and every day? Is she going to boycott contests in California, which turns a blind eye to illegals, including kids, working infields for under-market wages? Indo for its failure to crack down on Muslim extremism? She’s a pro surfer -just surf and earn that paycheck.

    • Marlonlipke

      So True

    • Jenmiles

      Its people like you that encourage people like Corie to stand even firmer. Only the weak like yourself will fall ill to your money hunger meaningless life. She is a woman standing her ground for the unheard voices of all the women of China. Just cause you gave up on believing in human kind to value each other over money, doesnt mean everyone else should too.
      Selfish….so sad
      Wahine Soul Surfing Association

  • Marlon

    i think its great if people take a stand for human rights and we can see that in many countries people had enough , but she really should take a look at her home country and start there , of course its hard to see cause most of its wicked actions are not at home but in other countries , we can see the millions of innocent lives taken and there is no end in sight of the powerful and ruling of this planet . make your home a better place before discriminating others. we are all in this together .

  • Tryan

    This chick has more balls than the entire ASP. Good on her! What does she endorse? Cuz if I need one, I am gonna buy one.

    Major Kudos!

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  • http://www.prosurfcoaches.com Robbie

    The China issue is such a mess, I don’t even know where to start. However the surf industry sure does. Look at the label on your expensive gear, where was it made? Was it made by a surfer in the US or Australia or was it made in a Asian factory sweatshop that made umbrellas 2 years ago by an employee making less than $1US per day? Think about it.

    I support companies like Stay Covered, they make their products by hand in America. Their leashes are top qualityand cost less than others made overseas.

  • Soybeandave

    I think your personal views are great however involving yourself in a professional sport that is guaranteed to deliver you to many countries that infringe on all levels of human rights, I would say represent your country well in your talents and go where you need to and voice your opinions there. Keeping yourself away is not the answer.
    Otherwise, become a Free Spirit surfer like Dane and Rob and just surf from your heart. Not for stuffy competitions!

  • Cori

    I have worked with humanitarian organizations, participated in civil rights marches and organizations in my hometown, been an activist with women’s rights issues in and out of the surf arena, opposed my own government’s choices from 2001 forward and tried to bring some of what is going on in my “own backyard” to a greater audience. The problem I have found is that unless you have a platform, and a salient issue, you are rarely heard. After consideration, I came to the decision that the strongest voice I had was to boycott. I understand that many will disagree with this choice, but I am hoping it will get a dialogue going. Why China? We all do the best we can, given what we know. It’s an issue worth getting to know.

    • good grief!

      BIGGEST HYPOCRITE EVER! Just another “no press is bad press” opportunity for you to be a huge nuisance and try to keep your name in the press. Do you own/buy/use products from China? How ’bout that computer you’re so militantly posting from?

      • Cori

        I am fully willing to acknowledge that I have been a part of the problem, many of us have, but this does not preclude a capacity to call for dialogue around this issue, nor does it preclude a capacity to change. If being a “huge nuisance” means that people get talking about the surf industry’s growing relationship with China, and that means better educated surf consumers who make choices that might affect systemic change in China, call it what you want.

        • Stu

          I think you’re overestimating your stature in the world of surfing. Nobody is going to reconsider their purchasing habits because you don’t surf an event in China.

        • good grief!

          This reminds me of not too long ago when there was a huge freak out on your part about the horrors of the ASP mixing with women’s longboarding and a contest in France. Also reminds me of you trying to force an unwanted contest down peoples’ throats and advocating closing a PUBLIC place for the benefit of a select few. Hmm…. public place’s usage dictated by a select few? Hello, communism!
          And after all that complaining, you end up going to France.

          You can’t have it both ways. Seems that you’re not practicing what you preach. Also, you seem to be confusing “opening a dialog” with “your way or the highway.”

  • Miguelaragao

    mony, mony ,MONY!

  • http://twitter.com/sevenfoldskate sevenfoldskate

    A free China would be better for the whole world, better environmental standards, better treatment of workers would lead to better quality products. The only people who benefit from the current China system are the elite. Thanks Cori for using your platform to inform and spark a discussion about a very taboo subject in Action Sports and America.

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  • Mulga Mumblebrain

    I bet that she would happily surf in Israel, though. Vicious, racist, despicable hypocrisy, so typical of the vilest type of American, who are shit scared of China’s rise.

    • Mdv33

      Mumblebrain? more like bumblebrain

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  • Jenmiles

    I believe it’s about time someone puts moral and ethical values before the dollar. Thank you Corie for standing your ground on your beliefs, because in the end…the business men and their unethical money hunger lives won’t care to ever do anything unless it benefits them financially.I respect and support your decision and would make you a board and sponser you anyday, knowing the values you have.
    Mahalo Nui loa
    Wahine Soul Surfing Association

  • WRWF

    Women’s Rights Without Frontiers issues the following statement:“To Ms. Schumacher: You are a woman of tremendous courage, conviction and backbone — a shining light not only to female athletes, but to all women who are struggling for basic human dignity, all over the world.  Your decision to boycott the ASP 2011 World Tour comes at a price.  Your sacrifice is a great inspiration to the women of China and has been publicized there widely.  You embody the highest ideals of athleticism – not only outstanding achievement in your sport, but also a consummate moral vision that finds expression in courageous and self-sacrificing action.  We salute you.“To the ASP:  China’s One Child Policy is enforced through forced abortion, forced sterilization and infanticide.  It is also a driving force behind gendercide, sexual slavery, and female suicide.  It causes more violence towards women and girls than any other official policy on earth and any other official policy in the history of the world.  Why are you dignifying this brutality by holding your tournament in China?  Read the Congressional Testimony of forced abortion victim Wujian and watch the four minute video, “Stop Forced Abortion in China!”  Then do the right thing:  move your tournament to the shores of a land whose waves are not awash in the blood of women.”

    http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/blog/?p=171

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  • http://www.facebook.com/bosox Deb Driscoll

    You go girl…I mean, stay home girl…proud of your convictions.

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