Brandon Ficara, the majority owner of Maverick Wrestling has released a statement in support of the #SpeakingOut movement that has rocked the wrestling world. In the statement Ficara says that going forward Maverick Wrestling will be implementing guidelines to vet talent and employees in order to make Maverick Wrestling a safe place for fans and wrestlers.
Here is the full statement:
Dear Wrestling community,
I have hesitated to make a statement, because I didn’t want to use this situation to promote our brand. I think it is important however to offer my thoughts on the recent #SpeakingOut movement. This is long overdue. Too many people have been victimized by sexual harassment and abuse. NO ONE should have to endure sexual harassment, assault or any other kind of abuse in pursuit of their dreams. It is vital that these people are exposed so that those of us who want to create a safe environment for workers and fans can know who to avoid. Maverick has worked with and booked people in the past to later find out that they were predators. More than a few we learned about this week. Thanks to the local wrestling press, we were fortunate enough to find out that someone we had booked for a show last year was a predator prior to the event and were able to cancel the booking.
There was an instance a few years ago in which Maverick Pro (as the company was known at the time) held a joint show with another local promotion who’s owner had been convicted of sexual misconduct in the past, information that was not widely known at the time. When they became aware of his crimes, Maverick severed ties with the promotion and the owner immediately but the damage to their reputation had been done. It was the thing that I thought about the most prior to purchasing the company. Ultimately after doing extreme research I felt confident that the people who ran Maverick Pro had no knowledge of the predator’s history and never would have partnered with him if they had. While some may question my wisdom in revisiting this horrific incident as it occurred several years ago under a different owner, I feel as if we have been doing that for too long, perpetuating a vicious cycle that have allowed these kinds of abuses to fester under the surface of our industry. As the current majority owner, I also own the history of the business and I would rather be honest about it so it can help to guide others than to bury it because it is uncomfortable.
The reason I wanted to be in this business was a pure love for the artform. When I started getting to know the workers, I realized how challenging the life of an independent wrestler is. The travel, the money, the physical pain and yes, the omnipresent risk that a promoter, booker or worker with bad intentions might try to abuse you. It breaks my heart to see how passionate these talented performers are and that they face so much danger from the people that they count on for bookings and mentorship. Now having learned that talent that I had booked recently might be predators, I feel like I have let down the people I most want to support. That is why it is so important for people to share their stories. I can’t imagine how hard it is, but I for one am listening when you speak out.
Moving forward, Maverick will be implementing new guidelines for vetting talent and anyone who works with us to provide a safe place where no one has to be in fear of being violated. An advocacy council will be formed that will be available to all of the people we work with to ensure that no one suffers silently. We will also be developing a plan to assist with mental health benefits for independent wrestlers. It’s time to not only remove the predators but to also help the victims and hopefully prevent those who might become predators with early intervention. We are a small promotion, but I’m hoping and challenging other promotions to follow our lead. Abuse is a cycle and it requires a full effort to improve the overall mental health of this industry to move forward.
We’re listening. Keep #SpeakingOut .
With all of the love in my heart,
Maverick Wrestling last held an event on September 7, 2019, but the company was in the planning stages for their next event when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. No upcoming events have been announced by the promotion.