Monday, 18 November 2013

Belt incident: a storm in a teacup?

On this weekend surfing the Facebook I noticed some interesting activity on the pages of guys from the USA. Everyone knows that I write some articles regarding HMB, so I often check my numerous friends’ facebook pages to see if they posted the link on some HMB or reenactment events.

This time I noticed that many of my USA friends are posting the same photo on their pages and commenting it. And that was the photo of Anton Trubnikov holding the belt of Evgeniy Gladkov (I think it was him) in the “5 vs 5” Russia vs USA. The comments were very different and some of them I think expressed more the problem than it really happened.

I was there when this incident took place, I saw this incident with my own eyes and followed the upcoming events and that’s why I think I have the right to express my own opinion.

The first thing I want to tell is that I know Anton Trubnikov for more than 3 years already and I know him quite well. I helped him to organize some events in Ukraine, so I know how he behaves in ordinary life and at work. so I have some background to analyze this action and to understand the possible reasons of it.
How it happened:

During the buhurt I was standing on the right side of the lists and saw that at a certain moment Anton grabbed the belt of the Russian fighter when that fighter was being actively hit by an American guy, held the belt for a few seconds and then let it go. Actually I was quite surprised and thought “What the hell have you just done?”. After it I know that Anton got the yellow card for it from Marshalls and gave official apologies to the captain of American team, they watched the video of the fight next morning, made sure that this action did not influence the battle anyhow and it was decided mutually that no re-fight is necessary. So they solved this issue and I thought the parties were happy with the decision. The issue was solved.

By the way the yellow card, which was received by Anton, could make a very bad joke to the Ukrainian team, as we already had a red card then, and so one more card and all the team could get disqualified. it is luck that we understood it afterwards, otherwise we would make a good brainwash to our captain at the event then :)

After the event we also shared this photo and made jokes of it. But you know what, we never considered that Anton wanted to betray his Ukrainian team or that he wanted to help Russians by cheating.

And what do I read in comments this weekend?
People say that he DID want to help Russians that way, then the conversation goes to the direction that Russians get promoted and receive more help than other teams, then people start saying that anyway no other team could win because the judges were not objective.

You know how does it look?
Some politician made a stupid action at a TV show and everyone in Internet start sharing it and making unlimited amount of mems, “meaningful” conclusions of the reasons of his actions and then escalating it to the level of his political course, his political views, reassessing his actions and that way destroying his image completely. And that all can happen because of one stupid action which did not have any reasons behind, or was a stupid joke or anything like that.
Looks like black PR actually and I hope that we don’t have it in HMB yet.
Let’s try to analyze the situation step by step.
1. Could this action really influence the fight?
He held the belt with one hand, it did not even look that he tried hard to hold it. If even the Russian fighter started to fall (by the way he did start to fall right after Anton took his hand away from the belt), Anton would not be able to stop the fall, because I don’t really think he can stop 120 kg (and that is something like Gladkov’s weight in armor) with one hand.

2. Was this cheating for the Russians’ benefit?

Any cheating should have some reasons and some objective exponents of being efficient. This action could not help the Russian team to win. I would even say more that Russian fighter did not even know the his belt was held by someone behind. I am sure he didn’t.

Why to say that Russians win due to cheating? Russians are the best in HMB now and team Ukraine, being the second after them, should be the first to start any quarrels regarding such an incident. And we should have been those who will say that they win with cheating, because that way we will come closer to get the first place. But we did not do this, because we know that they win as they are stronger. They are more experienced, they have harder competition at the selections and they fight really desperately.
You know, before BoN 2013 we told the same things. We said that they are cheating, their fights are dirty, they hit in forbidden areas. Most of the Ukrainian team this year took sabatons to the BoN because we were sure that Russians will hit us in the feet, that was some kind of paranoia. But they didn’t. And that really meant something for us. We started to respect them much more, because this year they really had fair play. Of course things happen, but general image was much much better than any year before. And you know why? This year marshals were very multinational and there was no dominance of Russian marshals. And the Russian team showed that they win because they are strong and not because they have Russian marshalls at the event who can solve any sitiation to their benefit. 
Do you really think they needed Anton’s help?
3. Was this an action of the President of HMBIA or Team Ukraine Captain?
I have already told that I have known Anton for a few years already. And I can say that there are people much kinder than him. He is very emotional and sometimes his can be rude. But at the same he is a very devoted captain. For his guys at the event he can do absolutely anything if they need help. And if he would cheat that way to influence the fight, he would rather do it with us, team Ukraine. Team Russia are not his guys, he respects them, he has a lot of friends there (obviously, because he’s been in reenactment since 90’s) but he will never help them to win. Because he wants us to win. If you knew how much brainwash we get from him after a non successful fight, how many trainings at the events happen. Every night at the BoN we are discussing tactics and he gathers everyone by force, because there is nothing he wants at the event more than to see us holding the winner’s cup.
And at the same time this action cannot be related to him as to the president of HMBIA. Because it is just nonsense. It will not give any benefit to the Russian team, nor to him or anyone else.
Holding the belt was just an emotional outburst of an emotive person and it does not really matter what he was thinking about at that moment. It was a stupid human factor. Really he could grab the belt unintentionally for a few seconds and that‘s why he dropped it at once then. There was just no objective in this action.
Was it provoking? Yes. certainly.
Was it stupid? Yes, certainly.
Was it intentional? No
And truly ss a captain he has no right to make such mistakes and that’s why after the event he told he would leave the captain’s position, the position which he had for 4 years. This December we have new captain elections. And I don’t really think that we will get a better one, because Anton did a lot for the team, and as a President of HMBIA he did a lot for HMB in the world.
Social media is a great means of spreading the information, but it can easily spoil the life and work of the person and entire organization because of some stupid situation and with the “help” of people who “really care and want to show their resentment”.  I don’t know whether this discussion by numerous people was planned or spontaneous. And I do not really understand why this subject again was highlighted if it was decided many months ago and men shook hands that it was solved. It looks like this accident is used now to achieve some very definite and very explicit goals.
I am a fighter since 2007, member of National team of Ukraine since 2010, I respect my opponents and would never let myself poor tons of shit on their captain and the President of the movement I am involved in, the person who created the championship I take part in and working hard to make my favourite sport a world class sport.