It’s not often but every now and again two of my interests intersect and it’s always super fascinating when they do. I have been involved with the Deaf community for around a decade now. I have many Deaf friends and South African Sign Language has become a big part of my life. And so I was super intrigued to find this IGN story about how the Mute Grab trick has been renamed in respect to its creator – A Deaf skater by the name of Chris Weddle.
Despite the fact that many Deaf people do not use their voice to speak (preferring to communicate via Sign Language) in reality very few are ‘mute’. And many actually consider tags like ‘mute’ or ‘dumb’ (as in deaf and dumb) very disrespectful and condescending – due to their obvious negative connotations. Of course, as with many things, it seems naming the trick the ‘Mute Grab’ was done with good intentions but in naivety. However, as explained in the IGN article, Tony Hawk himself (while looking into ‘trick origins’) decided to ask Weddle what he would prefer the name to be – as the first skater that performed the trick – and he chose the Deaf Grab/Air or the Weddle Grab/Air. And If you play the new demo or later the full game – you will notice that the Mute Grab is now called the Weddle Grab.
It’s a really fascinating story of particular interest to me (with my loves in both video games and Sign language) but if you’d like to know more check out Hawk’s Instagram post here.