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Unpacking the ifbb’s response to the Shawn Rhoden allegations..

Geardepot

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We see the swift response from the ifbb here to disassociate itself from him. The optics of this I see 2 different ways. If I am the ifbb I think this is probably a calculated response they are basically hedging against being associated with someone who is alleged to commit this type of crime. For them, they think ‘This guy is 44 years old, we don’t have a ton invested in him like we did Ronnie or Phil back in the day. Theres a talented line of guys behind him who can come in and take his place, and we can put this dude & situation in the rear view mirror.’ From a PR standpoint this is probably the worst crime a Mr. O can commit, next to brutally beating or murdering someone. To the general public they see this massive bber who looks like he could hold down and rape any women (or man for that matter) he wants to. He ‘looks’ guilty, even if you had never heard of him before these allegations came out. If he was a 175lb guy selling insurance, the optics are much different. Ifbb brass are in the media business, they have a much better temperature on how the public will react to things then most people think. Would Joe Weider have done the same thing? I can’t say for sure, but I would bet his response to this would have been much more mild, maybe even letting it play out over time before he made his decision. In fact, I think he probably would have contacted Shawn behind closed doors and told him to release a statement pulling out of the show and taking some personal time to sort out these issues. Ifbb could have then issued a statement saying “they accept Shawn backing out of the show and taking a leave to address these allegations 100% and defend his innocence.” Doing this would be a neutral stance so to speak where they can’t be accused of ‘supporting a rapist’ but could still back their champion if he was proved innocent… Or if he is proven guilty condemn him, cut all ties and donate his back/frozen pay to a charity that supports abused women etc.
I think the ifbb is simply calculating what makes the most sense and how they can come out of this unscathed, and this MR. O (and probably the majority of them) are just not profitable enough to support or even take a neutral stance with in this ‘me too’ day in age. A bit off topic here, but does anyone remember what the if ifbb’s stance was with Craig Titus and Kelly when they were accused/arrested? Did they cut all ties immediately?



I think the lesson here is for all BBers in the ifbb. They should be seeing and hearing the ifbb’s message loud and clear. All Pro bbers in the IFBB have a choke collar around their nuts, thats held by the IFBB. Lets say he is innocent here. The fact the ifbb can cut him down at the knee's and abandon him here is kinda scary for other bbers to watch. You can be Mr. O, the best bber in the world and be cut down to size overnight based off an allegation.
As a business man I look at this the same way if I am innocent or guilty of this crime. If the ifbb turns its back on me, I am fucked. Being Mr. O is every bbers dream, but few realize that while accomplishing this dream they are failing to insure their future if they don’t have another revenue source that is not bbing based/sourced. Shit, just being able to make it a full year as Mr. O and not get injured is hard enough, you get injured and pull out of the show and your income source drops dramatically let alone having to deal with something like this. I really wish more of these guys would get some binoculars and see further down the road of life so they can better understand the fragility of what they are doing and how fast the $ goes away if something does not go as planned. On the other hand I totally understand the path these guys choose as they are knocking on the door for years trying to turn pro, then trying to be one of the top pro’s, theres really not a lot of time left to conquer the business world and set up other revenue streams to help support you for life after bbing… but it can be done if your calculated and understand the game.

I guess my message to any am/pro bber would be to take a moment to get a view from 40k feet and use the money your making now to set up some income streams for the future. The obvious choice for most of these guys is something in the supplement/gym/fitness industry, but don’t be afraid to venture into something else thats not connected to bbing or fitness. Look at this situation with Shawn (wether he is innocent or guilty here) he just got convicted by the ifbb, and if the organization you work for/with is so quick to convict you, the court of public opinion will follow suit.
 

maldorf

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I agree 100%. I don't think there is anything legal Shawn can do to the IFBB, even if he is not found guilty in court. I don't see how he sues them and wins any judgement. Im sure they all sign some kind of contract when they turn pro and compete?

Can any pros on here comment on if they sign a contract, and what the fine print says? Id love to see a PDF of the language in the agreement.
 
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Geardepot

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Good idea, ya I would be very interested to see that fine print as well. However, I doubt we can get a copy of anyones contract to inspect as I am sure the Ifbb has a privacy clause in there.... but I sure hope I am wrong, I'd love to see the language in there!


I agree 100%. I don't think there is anything legal Shawn can do to the IFBB, even if he is not found guilty in court. I don't see how he sues them and wins any judgement. Im sure they all sign some kind of contract when they turn pro and compete?

Can any pros on here comment on if they sign a contract, and what the fine print says? Id love to see a PDF of the language in the agreement.
 

maldorf

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Good idea, ya I would be very interested to see that fine print as well. However, I doubt we can get a copy of anyones contract to inspect as I am sure the Ifbb has a privacy clause in there.... but I sure hope I am wrong, I'd love to see the language in there!

Someone could post it anonymously. No names would have to be involved. It might shed light on what is happening here and I think it would be good for those wishing to turn pro to see the rules they will have to follow.
 

Beti ona

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While I agree with the published article, here is a problem that must be clarified.

The IFBB or Pro League is not the one with a problem with Rhoden. It was AMI/Olympia Weekend who has banned him from competing. AMI is a different company and its owner is David Pecker. Pro league is from Jim Manion. Rhoden, for now, can compete in any professional Pro League show, including the Arnold Classic (I'm not sure if Arnold would agree to invite him). You can also compete in the new Dwayne Johnson show (The Rock Games) that will be held in Atlanta and will have a greater prize than Olympia.

That said, its humiliating what they have done the owners of AMI with Rhoden, Pecker is a bastard and I think that the Pro League should take over Olympia Weekend, either in their own hands or in someone really interested in bodybuilding and not in yellowish news.
 

tommyguns2

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I don't blame the federation for distancing itself. Rhoden was incredibly stupid to have a woman to his room under any circumstances without another person present.

If he didn't commit the crime, he's guilty of extremely poor judgement, and if he committed the crime, he'll get what he deserves. IFBB has to protect it brand that Rhoden has severely tarnished, regardless of what happened in that room.

In the age of #MeToo, no man should ever allow himself to be put in that situation. I do not ever have a one-on-one meeting with a woman at work, or take a woman to lunch, even for business. My office door is never closed... ever. Not because I can't control myself, but rather because I have a fiduciary duty to the organization, and even a credible accusation can severely damage the goodwill/reputation of the organization.
 

maldorf

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I don't blame the federation for distancing itself. Rhoden was incredibly stupid to have a woman to his room under any circumstances without another person present.

If he didn't commit the crime, he's guilty of extremely poor judgement, and if he committed the crime, he'll get what he deserves. IFBB has to protect it brand that Rhoden has severely tarnished, regardless of what happened in that room.

In the age of #MeToo, no man should ever allow himself to be put in that situation. I do not ever have a one-on-one meeting with a woman at work, or take a woman to lunch, even for business. My office door is never closed... ever. Not because I can't control myself, but rather because I have a fiduciary duty to the organization, and even a credible accusation can severely damage the goodwill/reputation of the organization.

I was a high school and junior high teacher in the past and this is one of the things male teachers were taught back even in the late 90s. It probably started earlier than that. Id like to know what the college of education is telling its teachers now.
 

deadliftsquates

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I don't blame the federation for distancing itself. Rhoden was incredibly stupid to have a woman to his room under any circumstances without another person present.

If he didn't commit the crime, he's guilty of extremely poor judgement, and if he committed the crime, he'll get what he deserves. IFBB has to protect it brand that Rhoden has severely tarnished, regardless of what happened in that room.

In the age of #MeToo, no man should ever allow himself to be put in that situation. I do not ever have a one-on-one meeting with a woman at work, or take a woman to lunch, even for business. My office door is never closed... ever. Not because I can't control myself, but rather because I have a fiduciary duty to the organization, and even a credible accusation can severely damage the goodwill/reputation of the organization.

No what you said isnt smart. It is/was stupid but that makes him guilty of nothing.
 

Beti ona

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Rhoden was incredibly stupid to have a woman to his room under any circumstances without another person present.

From what I have read and heard, this is very, very common in the industry. These guys have dozens of women who contact them when they are in their area.

Yes, he should be smarter when it comes to establishing relationships, but stupidity is not a crime. And certainly, the IFBB has never fired drug dealers within its ranks, which is considered a crime.
 

tommyguns2

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From what I have read and heard, this is very, very common in the industry. These guys have dozens of women who contact them when they are in their area.

Yes, he should be smarter when it comes to establishing relationships, but stupidity is not a crime. And certainly, the IFBB has never fired drug dealers within its ranks, which is considered a crime.

It may be very common, but in the age of #MeToo, men are guilty until proven innocent. It's not fair, but it's the world we presently live in. That's why I take precautions to prevent an unfounded allegation from being made in the first place.

it's all about goodwill for the organization. Having a steroid dealer in the organization doesn't tarnish the brand because every IFBB pro is a gearhead. Not every IFBB pro is an accused rapist. Just think of the mess the organization would have on Olympia weekend with Rhoden competing, and the rape allegations sucking all the oxygen out of the event. No focus on the athletes or the competition, but instead all the talk of the alleged rape, and it goes on and on. You can't fault the promotors for wanting all that nonsense to be gone, and telling Rhoden he's out helps to do that.

Plus, the fastest growing part of NPC and IFBB is the women's divisions, not the men. Go to any local or regional show, and you've got a crowd filled with friends and family of the female competitors. Rhoden legal quandary hurts that brand that is trying to appeal to the female competitors and fans.
 

Beti ona

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The measure of banning him forever is unacceptable. I don't think Weider would have acted that way.

The Geardepot article is absolutely correct about the fact that these guys are subject to owners without much compassion.
 

tommyguns2

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The measure of banning him forever is unacceptable. I don't think Weider would have acted that way.

Point well taken on a lifetime ban. If he is subsequently acquitted, I would be shocked if they didn't lift the ban.
 

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