“Japan changed something” in the world of surfing sponsorships, he says. Rumors began to circulate that activist surfers were being black-balled by corporate sponsors.
Adding fuel to this fire were accusations that Japanese mafia, or Yakuza, had strong-armed surf shop employees as they hunted for the killing bay activists. Scary stuff.
Now the other shoe would drop.
Fired by sponsor
After Japan, James didn’t receive his monthly salary from Ocean Minded, one of his sponsors. After a few months, James contacted the firm’s owner, who finally confirmed what James had already surmised: he had been fired. The reason? “You’re too controversial.”