Highsnobiety

Na-Kel Smith has opened up about his personal experiences of racism within the — predominantly white — professional skateboarding industry.

During a recent Instagram Live session with Kevin White and Mikey Alfred, Smith detailed instances in which his white colleagues have taken advantage of their privilege. While refusing to provide a list of names, he did call out one individual — industry veteran and former Thrasher editor-in-chief, Jake Phelps, who he says used the N-word in his presence on numerous occasions. The 25-year-old skater also touched on other instances when white skaters would either ask for approval to use the term or just verbalize it regardless and pass it off as banter.

Smith points out that many of those within the sport show no hesitation in treating minorities as if they are lucky to be a part of it. He mentions how black skaters are often highlighted in videos backed by hip-hop music and talks of times he was asked to engage in racially insensitive acts for sponsorship deals and branding. He also states verbatim that "some of your favorite skate companies don't give a fuck about the black man."

As Smith says at the beginning of his Instagram video, which runs 35 minutes in length, "I’m just here to speak up as a black man that has been involved with this shit since I was like 17. Watch it in full below.

Join us in taking a stance against institutionalized racism.

For more:

  • Here’s how you can support protestors.

  • 10 anti-racism accounts to help you stay informed.

  • A simple guide to protesting safely.

We Recommend
  • adidas Stan Smith XLG white sneaker with an oversized tongue
    adidas' Stan Smith Is Minimalist AF. adidas Stan Smith XLG Is a '90s Skate Shoe
    • Sneakers
  • best-black-owned-brands
    21 Black-Owned Brands to Shop in 2024
    • Style
  • Ayo Edebiri at the 2024 Golden Globes
    Why Does Everyone Have a F*ck Ass Bob?
    • Beauty
  • adidas' platform stan smith sneaker in white and green leather
    Look Out Luxury Labels: adidas Made Its Own Platform Stan Smith
    • Sneakers
  • Vans x Vibram Suede closeup
    Vibram Soles Give Vans’ Classic Skate Shoes Sole
    • Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety
What To Read Next
  • awake ny jordan air ship sneaker
    Awake NY's Jordan Sneaker Is Ready for Landing
    • Sneakers
  • bottega veneta fw24
    Bottega Veneta Winter '24 Is Pure Genius
    • Style
  • solange knowles fashion week outfits
    In Solange's Insanely Cool Style We Trust
    • Style
  • new balance 1000 sneaker 2024
    New Balance Is Back With Another Solid Sneaker Revival
    • Sneakers
  • HS x Cetaphil
    Cetaphil & Highsnobiety Bestow A Self-Care Sanctuary Amid Fashion Week
    • Beauty
    • sponsored
  • HOKA Elite Terrain System Clifton L Suede
    HOKA’s New Sneaker Isn’t Like Other HOKAs
    • Sneakers
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titel Media GmbH (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titel Media GmbH strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titel Media GmbH tests, remediates and maintains the Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.