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MLU Addresses Malecek Situation In Memo; Malecek Apologizes

by in Featured, News with 13 Comments

The logo of Major League Ultimate.Ultiworld has obtained a copy of a memo sent by Jeff Snader, the Commissioner of Major League Ultimate, about the Brandon “Muffin” Malecek situation. It includes a lengthy apology from Malecek.

“The biggest lesson of this is that we need to keep MLU business internal,” wrote Snader. “The MLU has focused on promoting players, coaches and staff in the best light possible and our mission is to convey that to as many people as possible. If there are suspensions or fines that are handed out we want to make sure that they go through the proper chain of command before they are released as it may result in misinformation, as this situation did.”

Here is the memo in full.

MLU Family,

Brandon Malecek wrote the statement below and asked for it to be distributed to the rest of the MLU. We all make many mistakes throughout our careers and all that matters is how we respond to them. I’m grateful that we have such a great community in the MLU and that we have so many people who care so much about what we all do. I’m proud of Brandon for taking responsibility for his actions. That’s what all of the great players and role models do.

The biggest lesson of this is that we need to keep MLU business internal. The MLU has focused on promoting players, coaches and staff in the best light possible and our mission is to convey that to as many people as possible. If there are suspensions or fines that are handed out we want to make sure that they go through the proper chain of command before they are released as it may result in misinformation, as this situation did.

Lastly, we have a great partnership with Innova and they have been incredible with their responsiveness throughout the season. Their efforts to make the best disc possible have been outstanding. If you have criticism of the disc or anything for that matter you are welcome to convey that, privately, to the league.

If you have any questions you are welcome to reach out to me. Below is Brandon’s statement.


Jeff Snader
Commissioner
Major League Ultimate
www.MLUltimate.com
Facebook.com/MLUltimate
Twitter.com/MLUltimate
Twitter.com/JeffSnader

***

“Dear Ultimate Community,

In my recent blog post regarding the Innova Pulsar, I made some selfish and regrettable comments, which have since reflected negatively on me, my team, and the MLU.  I would like to make it clear that my intention was not in any way to diminish Innova or their products; it was only to vent my personal frustrations from playing poorly and to give a unique comparison of the two discs both of which have a considerable impact on the game of Ultimate.

I realize now that some of what I said was unfairly biased against a disc that is in no way a lesser product, but simply not what I am accustomed to.  I am sure, I will come to be better acquainted with the Pulsar and my issues stemming from this transitional phase will be alleviated.

I would like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, and staff on the Whitecaps, Major League Ultimate, and Innova for my actions, which did not represent how truly honored I am to be part of this organization, and how grateful I am for our sponsors.

Especially, I would like to acknowledge and recognize Commissioner Jeff Snader, Whitecaps Owner David Kucherlapati, Captain Jeff Graham and League Publicist Antoine Johnson for all their outstanding efforts this year.  I was humbled by their understanding feedback and truly realized that the MLU is so much bigger than any one player or attitude; it’s about building something great.”

Sincerely,
Brandon “Muffin” Malecek

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About Charlie Eisenhood

Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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  • guest

    The MLU can try and control their players, but the beauty of our sport is the fact that you cannot. The unpredictable personalities are a big reason why we watch. As soon as the MLU (or AUDL or USAU or anyone) tries to squelch the voice of the player, the sooner I will turn off what they are trying to sell me.

    • anon

      First of all, who is “we”? You don’t speak for me, thats for sure. I watch the games because these players make awesome plays. Nobody is squelching their personalities. Telling a player to respect a sponsor who is helping put games on the field is just common sense, which apparently the hippie fringe lacks. Its not about any of these organizations controlling their players. Its about the players wanting to be a part of building something they believe in.

      • Adam Shapiro

        Hippy fringe is more than a little bit erroneous, It is flat out closed minded. You’re point actually goes all the way up the line to the Constitution of the United States. You cant call protection of the 1st amendment anything other than American.

        I will go back to a point I made in an earlier post that if Malacek’s contract stated that he is not allowed to talk badly about the MLU or Innova or any other sponsors for that matter, then he was in the wrong. But if it is not present in a contract, then Malacek, I believe has the right to pursue compensation for the lack of pay for “half” of a game.

        My guess is that the MLU has covered their tracks and he (Malacek) was in the wrong.

        I am a strong supporter of what the professional leagues are doing for Ultimate, but I still believe SOTG rules in our sport. There is a reason that the rulebook describes is as “paramount.”

        So lets all just use this whole experience as a chance to learn about better ways of moving forward. Malacek could have gone about pronouncing his opinion in a better way (which he stated) and the MLU will do a better job about dealing with internal conflincts (which they stated).

        As fans, we can also use this opportunity to figure out the best ways for us to continue our much cherished and beneficial lines of discourse across the Ultimate community.

        • anon

          Strawman much? Who said anything about the players right to free speech? I said it was common sense to not bite the hand feeding you.

          • Adam Shapiro

            “Telling a player to respect a sponsor who is helping put games on the field is just common sense, which apparently the hippie fringe lacks.”

            Putting that in any form in a contract means he is contractually obligated to do so. Without the wording in a contract, then the MLU has not set up the proper wording to protect itself from players “biting the hand which feeds them.” I never disagreed that it is not in the best interest of the parties (including Malacek) to keep the MLU in the best light possible, I just don’t believe without a properly worded contract that the MLU brass is legally in the position to dock Malacek or any other player for that matter pay.

            We are arguing over a point without knowing what the contract says. My first comment, in an entirely separate post, states that I believe the MLU to be smart enough to have something in the contract barring the players from putting sponsors or the league in a bad light, even if Malacek’s fiancee said that it is not in the contract.

            “To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition” Straw Man wiki page…

            My point in the discussion has to do with contractual obligations and not whether or not it is in the best interest of the “dog” (Malacek) who is looking to the “hand” of the MLU to feed him. The point is not superficial. It is the basis of the system of legally binding contracts: what an employer can and can not do.

          • Adam Shapiro

            Really though…I think we agree on the focus of the argument. The whole situation was handled without proper discretion and hopefully this will be a learning moment for all those involved. Even me.

    • Mitch

      The beauty of our sport is the unpredictable personalities? Compared to the predictable likes of TO, Ocho Cinco, Mark Cuban, Shaq, etc, etc? It’s not like ultimate has the corner on strong personalities.

  • guest

    I thought muffin had some great points in his original statement, obviously there is an expectation that members of the MLU don’t bad talk the league, but if the management wouldn’t make bad decisions (using pulsar) in the first place they wouldn’t have to deal with getting called out on it.

  • guest

    Don’t like the forced apoligy and doesn’t look like it is him speaking. Although his original statement wasn’t the smartest move, personaly and for his team, he should be able to stick to his point. Especially when he makes a good point…

    • Bryan Dombrowski

      after reading the initial blog post and then this apology it does come off as very forced but what else is there to expect.

  • guest

    I can only imagine that somewhere in the contract, there’s a blanket statement that says players won’t do anything that would hurt or disgrace the league.

    It’s not so much of whether COULD he have published or not. Even if there wasn’t anything in the contract that says he can’t trash the league/sponsor, the bigger question is : SHOULD he have done it?

  • BlueStreak

    How jealous is USAU of MLU right now? If they could suspend people for talking bad about them, there’d be no one left by Nationals.

  • Justin Fereshetian

    This is a good sign to me, that the MLU is able to have these “disputes” but be able to move on past it quickly. Rather than dragging it out into some ugly lawsuit, like what happened last year in the AUDL and ended up diluting the competition in the Eastern Conference Championships.

    Also I think that it doesn’t matter what the contract may or may not say, they way that Brandon Malecek voiced his dislike of the disc was not appropriate and unprofessional, so even if there was nothing in the contract about it, I feel like he was in the wrong because he was being unprofessional and that is what this league is trying to do with Ultimate is professionalize it. His points were valid, but not the way he made those points, and he cleared the water here, so all of this mess is behind them and now they can just focus on the important thing, playing Ultimate.

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