As soon as the GQ article came out, my Facebook was flooded by people taking issue with/defending/getting frustrated with shares about Dillman’s comment centered around the Adidas ad. For those of you who aren’t aware, the comment taken from the article was:
“The Beavers know all of the players featured in each of the commercials by name, and they chuckle together at the Adidas ad – a documentary-style mini-profile of Britain’s all-female ‘Tornado Riders.’
‘They found like the six attractive girls in the sport and put them in one room,’ Dillman says. “It’s really funny to see it portrayed this way.’”
I reached out to Dillman that very evening and asked him a few questions, which he was more than happy to answer:
So let’s get right to it: was that quote taken out of context?
Yes it was out of context, yes it is being misinterpreted, but i still I find it regrettable those words are attached to my name. Why? Because people I care about have expressed disappointment and have had their feelings hurt. But I cannot change this now, instead I can own it, explain what I meant, apologize, and explore what I need to do going forward to avoid history repeating it’s self.
What was the context?
I found it funny for bike polo to be portrayed in a cute, lovable, and high five and smile sort of way. The polo women featured in the spot are actually tough as fucking shit, talented, and at the top of the game. But Adidas felt the need to sprinkle in a little bit of glamour and sex appeal with their use of non polo playing, hired (assumption here) models.
Why weren’t polo playing women good enough? Was Adidas trying to sell the Nik’s ability to bust a ridiculous wheelie turn or that she looked really cute in Adidas?
I have to say though, despite being amused by the angle, I like the ad, I like the exposure that it brings to the sport. I like that the 12,000+ hits it has on youtube represents thousands of people who have never heard of Bike Polo. I also like it entirely features women. But what do I know, remember I’m just a “little boy.”
Lots of players are frustrated by the representation of women in the first really big story about bike polo–what do you think about that frustration?
For those of you pissed off, offended, dissapointed, or hurt by the words, I am sorry. I hope that a little bit more explanation reduces those feelings.
Regarding the story as a whole…
I would like to provide a little more context of the time we spent with the writer. All together the Beavers spent upwards of 40 hours with him, this all occurred within 1 month of the worlds. A time when competitive juices are flowing through polo like Miller High Life on a warm sunny afternoon in Milwaukee. What was published was that side of who we are, competition, win at all costs, personal challenges. This was what the author determined to be most digestible for his outlet, GQ. We knew that going into the piece there was this risk. We were putting ourselves out there to the world and if there was a change the end result may not sit well with ourselves or the community. We also considered that to be a slight risk in the grand picture of the exposure the sport was sure to receive. So fuck it, we did it.
What was omitted was the part when I talk about how everything good I have in my life now is a direct result of bike polo. How polo brought me to my best friends whom in turn have become closer than family. I promise that was just as much apart of the story for us as anything about winning or competition, but we didn’t write the story, we were the subjects.
This is all been a crazy day. I never really considered myself to be a spokesperson for anyone other than myself. Like everyone else out there, I got into polo because I thought it was neat, I stuck around because I enjoy it, I love it because of the people it has brought into my life. I again apologize that my name has been attached to words that have disappointed or hurt any of you. Going forward I will make sure to be better prepared for these situations and not give the press anything that could be destructive to others in the polo world or twisted in a way that has lost it’s meaning. I’m a good fucking dude, people that know me can vouch but we all make mistakes. It’s how they are handled that is most important.
Don’t make me post the Unchained Polo video again…