GRANT LANGSTON’S DEPARTURE FROM PRO MOTOCROSS ANNOUNCING: “THE MOTOCROSS SERIES DOESN’T NEED ME & I DON’T NEED THEM”
Multi-time AMA 125 Supercross Champion, 2007 AMA 450 National Champion and 125 FIM World Champion Grant Langston has been apart of the TV broadcast team, announcing the Pro Motocross series since 2014. Unfortunately, his time in the TV booth has come to an abrupt end after Grant was not allowed to go to the 2021 Ironman National and announce on the MAVTV and NBCSN TV broadcast programs. Although he was still invited to announce at the final two rounds of the season at Pala and Hangtown, Grant did not appreciate the reasoning for his suspension from Ironman and he spoke out in a video update via instagram on Friday, August 27th, before the Ironman National explaining the situation. The TV crew believed that Grant had been exposed to Covid-19 and because he had not taken the vaccine, he was not allowed back to the race, even though his covid-19 test results came back negative.
Current riders like Cooper Webb, Justin Barcia, Dean Wilson, Hunter Lawrence, Austin Forkner and more commented on his post, praising Grant for his honesty and integrity. Other industry celebrities and former racers like Ryan Villopoto, Brian Deegan, Axell Hodges, Robbie Madison, Johnny O’Mara, Greg Albertyn and more also showed their support in the comments for Grant Langston.
After his original video post before the race made a stir in the online-world of our industry, Grant made another post on Monday, August 30th, to add more context and clarity to his decision with a second video. We transcribed both videos and included them in this post here so you can read (or watch) as Grant explains his reasoning from stepping away from his Pro Motocross announcing position.
GRANT LANGSTON’S ORIGINAL ANNOUNCEMENT: POSTED 8/27
“Hey everyone, I just wanted to give you guys a quick update. Apparently a couple people in the TV compound have tested positive for COVID-19. I just found out that even though if I get a negative test back, I still cannot go to the race this weekend at Ironman because I have not been vaccinated.
So if you get a negative test and you have been vaccinated, you can go. So it’s not, in my opinion, really about COVID it’s about the vaccine. This is coming to me that it’s the new CDC guidelines, not necessarily MAVTV, Lucas or NBC, so it’s a pretty unfortunate situation.
But with that said, they did tell me I could come to the final two events, but I must say I’m a little frustrated that even with a negative test I cannot go. So, after a lot of thought, I have made the decision to quit pro motocross announcing effective immediately.
It’s a pity has to end this way. It was a pretty good run, almost eight seasons.
Thanks to everyone for the kind words and the compliments over the past few years. It’s meant a lot to me. It’s a tough job sometimes. You get very self-conscious, so those compliments meant a lot as I said again. It’s stuff that has to be like this, but I’ve made my decision. Take care everyone, cheers.”
GRANT LANGSTON’S ORIGINAL INSTAGRAM VIDEO: POSTED 8/27
GRANT LANGSTON EXPLAINS HIS DECISION FURTHER: POSTED 8/30
“Hey everyone, grant here again. Just wanted to follow up with a little update.
First of all I have to say, the support has been absolutely mindboggling. I never thought that it would be like this. I just wanted to put out a post to let people know where I was coming from and give my side of the story. But like I said, the fans and just average people, just anyone that’s reached out, thank you so much. I know for a lot of people it was even difficult to reach out because they didn’t want backlash or have maybe their sponsors or company come after them. So I received a ton of direct messages as well that was not in the public eye, so again, I’ve been trying to read through them. I’ve had tens of thousands to be perfectly honest, and I’ve been trying to read through them so just to let you know, I will eventually get through them, and I’ve tried to at least like and respond to a lot of them, but at the same time I don’t wanna be stuck on my phone 24/7. As you can imagine.
I feel like I just need to elaborate a little bit more about, you know what happened. I was actually riding up in Utah with a good group of guys on a dual sport ride and I was told on Wednesday that I needed to get a negative test if I was to be allowed back from TV compound and I said, I understand and obviously did that.
I had a negative test but that still wasn’t enough. They can slice it how they want, but they took the path of least resistance and that was just tell GL to stay home. You’re not welcome this weekend. Because I was exposed. Now, I hate that term because who knows if I was exposed or not, there were a couple people out of about 40, you know, roughly in the TV crew that had it now.
From my side too, the reason that this was even more frustrating is I knew that I hadn’t been exposed. I got to the track only on Saturday. I had a late flight in, didn’t come to the track Friday for the meetings they’ve been doing the meetings through a zoom call. And you know, with this sort of delta variant, and just knowing how things work and you know, trying to do my part, I actually was somewhat anti-social in the TV compound, meaning I didn’t have lunch with them. I didn’t hang out with people, I didn’t walk into the other trucks purely because I didn’t want something like this to happen, so when they said you may have been exposed, I would no one actually gave me the opportunity to tell them where I was, who I spoke to and who I didn’t talk to so.
You know, it was frustrating to basically just be told to stay home and come, you know, don’t ask questions and pretty much in my opinion, I was being punished purely for not being vaccinated. They all slice it differently. And then to add insult to injury, no one had the decency or respect to call me and let me know that I was being replaced. I started hearing rumors on Thursday before I was literally walking out my door to go to the airport and I had to call and text multiple people to find out. Yeah, it was true, I was being replaced.
I think after all these years and everything I’ve done for them, I’ve never called in sick, I’ve never done anything out of line. I truly believe that that was a really crappy call and the thing that is also annoying is everyone pointing fingers and taking no responsibility of making that call. Everyone kind of saying, my hands are tired, I can’t make a decision which I find very hard to believe.
Now, to elaborate a little bit more on my decision, I am not an anti vaxxer and I’ve had vaccines obviously from childhood all the way to an adult. I am, however, someone that’s going to ask questions and be a little bit skeptical. I come from a country that is not heavily vaccinated and funny enough, there’s far fewer cases of diseases and issues.
I have a son who has autism and I saw a 2-year-old kid that was very normal get a bunch of jabs and then within months I saw him regressing and that was very hard as a parent, and I tried to find answers. And it’s a little bit like this vaccine, it’s pretty much don’t ask questions, “Shut up and do as you’re told.” Now it’s not a political statement either, because if any of you recall Trump said, “take it,” Biden said, “take it.” But then again, I’ve never listened to politicians, and I’m not going to start now. If this vaccine is as good as they say it is, then why are vaccinated people so concerned about people that are not vaccinated? Why are they mandating boosters? They keep saying it’s mutating. I think a lot of us knew this was going to happen from the start.
So again, I’m not an anti-vaxxer and if I believed that this vaccine was good for me and the people around me, I would take it and I may take it in the future, but I just want to wait and see some studies. I’ve had COVID. I believe I had it in January 2020 after Anaheim Supercross. A lot of people got very sick. I remember saying this was the worst flu I’ve ever had, but that was before we really knew about it, so I can only speculate that I had it, but I’m pretty sure I did based on the symptoms and how I felt.
I know for a fact that I had it in November last year because obviously I took multiple tests and I had very, very mild symptoms. I understand that affects everyone a little bit differently. I could only speak from my experience. Which was when I had it, it was honestly like a very mild head cold. I was more frustrated being stuck at home because I remember I was like, “well, I’ll just go to the store and get some groceries.” I’m like, “Nope, Nope can’t do that either.”
So I’m trying to do my part and be a good citizen. I’ve never told people “you shouldn’t take the vaccine,” but I have people tell me all the time. “You need to take the vaccine.” So I just wanted to give you my reasons for this and I really hope that in the future people will stand up for what they believe in. Whether you’re right or wrong, there’s a lot of amateur doctors out there and experts that know all about this disease or this, you know, variant whatever you want to call it.
For me, it’s open your eyes, listen, take the data that’s coming in, and there’s data coming in all the time and it’s kind of proving my point, which is it’s really not as good as they made it out to be and all they keep doing is doubling down on “you need to take it and do your part so we can get through this pandemic.”
Remember when they said two weeks, you know, in the very beginning and this thing will disappear and we’ll all be happy and move on. Well, here we are a year and a half later and it’s just causing so much drama. And it’s ruining sport, it’s ruining relationships, you know, because there’s people that have opinions on both sides.
And I’m not here to tell anyone that they’re wrong I just would appreciate people not telling me what to do. It’s never sit well with me when people tell me what to do. I like to consider myself an independent thinker and I’ll make the decision for myself.
Again, I’ve had COVID, in fact, pretty much everyone in my family had it, and you know everyone came out OK and I understand for some people it was a different outcome. I know people have been hospitalized after taking the vaccine, I actually know someone whose son died shortly after receiving the vaccine, and I also know that they are people that would tell you it’s helped him or kept them out of hospital and for whatever you believe in, good for you.
I made my decision again, I just thought it wasn’t handled very well. I thought it was pretty tacky the way I had to find out that I was suspended from a race because they believed that I’d come into contact, which again, I could debunk that but it doesn’t matter. It’s too late now.
I know that they’re going to start mandating things in the future, and I thought I’d rather quit on my own terms. The Motocross series doesn’t need me and I don’t need them. So again, thank you to everyone for the overwhelming support. It’s meant the world to me, I never wanted this to be a huge deal, but I think, without really realizing, I think a lot of people appreciated me standing up for my beliefs and I know a lot of people wish they were in that position that they could do that.
So, thank you again, I wish you all the best and whatever your decision is, I hope you all are healthy, safe and we can get through this together, cheers.”
GRANT LANGSTON ADDS MORE PERSPECTIVE ON HIS DECISION: POSTED 8/30
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