An apology to Duncan Toys

True remorse is never just a regret over consequence; it is a regret over motive. ~Mignon McLaughlin, 1960

There is nothing like delivering a long overdue apology to make one’s hands sweat uncontrollably. I can honestly say that as I write this, I don’t think I’ve ever felt this uncomfortable in my life…or this relieved.

In April 2006, I resigned my position as the Marketing & Promotions Coordinator of Duncan Toys. It wasn’t anything particularly momentous, really. It was a disagreement over money, the sort that happens pretty much every day. The only distinguishing factor here is that I turned a private matter of business into a public matter of vitriol.

As anyone who was close to me at the time can attest, I was a pretty unpleasant person. There are lots of reasons for this and in spite of my protestations to the contrary, none of them justify it in the slightest. My successes at Duncan Toys went straight to my head and I indulged myself with a grotesquely inflated ego. I was absolutely insufferable, completely burned-out on the yo-yo industry, and really just had no business being around anyone at all. Instead of simply withdrawing and getting myself together, however, I made it a point to publicly attack my former boss, Mr. Jason Sauey, and his father, W.R. Sauey. I complained about their politics, I complained about endless perceived slights, and I used the vilest language I could muster at the time to do it so that I could make myself feel righteous and important and powerful.

I was none of those things. I was a loud-mouthed little boy who fancied himself indispensable. And, in sharp contrast to my beliefs at the time, Duncan Toys did not immediately collapse upon my departure. It continued on its way just fine while I fumed and swore and made my friends very, very uncomfortable.

And now, 5 years later, I believe I owe a few people some apologies.

I’d like to apologize first to the Sauey family. My vulgar rantings were well beyond “uncalled for” and I worked myself up to the point where a simple disagreement over business matters (that should have ended with a handshake and a thank-you for the opportunities you’d given me) turned into a very public vendetta. There is no excuse for my actions, and I hope you can forgive me for them.

A heartfelt apology also goes to Jeff Bush & Mike Burke. The two of you caught the full brunt of my ego during my time at Duncan Toys and looking back I cannot fathom the patience that you displayed with my juvenile behavior. I can only now begin to imagine what it must have been like to work with me, and I cannot even begin to understand why you put up with me for so long.

My apologies to all the office staff at Flambeau who worked with me during that time period. I was absolutely insufferable and I’m sure that not a day went by that you didn’t notice that or have to pitch in to help clean up some mess that I’d created.

And finally, I apologize to all the members of the Duncan Crew. I assembled that team to be the most inspiring players in the world, to be something positive. I’m ashamed that in the end, you all held true while I hadn’t the strength of character to be anything be negative and destructive. I undermined your positions with my ceaseless criticism of your sponsor, and I abused our friendship each time I denigrated Duncan Toys in the hopes that you would walk away from them as I did.

I’m sorry to have taken up public time and space with this embarrassing litany of wrongdoings and apologies…but since I started my harassment of Duncan Toys in a public forum, I felt it only fitting that I apologize and end it in the same manner. I hope that all these people I’ve maligned can forgive me, and that we can all move forward with the mutual goal of furthering the art and sport of yo-yo play worldwide.

With regret,

Steve Brown


No need to be sorry for “taken up public time and space”. A sincere apology takes courage, especially when it is being made public. I hope this will help lift any strife you may still have, and also put it into perspective (I know it did for me) for those that didn’t know the situation.

Up to this point, I had known nothing between you and Duncan besides some sort of disagreement that resulted in you leaving. I feel lucky somehow that my introduction into this topic has also been the conclusion.

I applaud you for you apology Steve, I’m glad to see that you’ve made a public effort to mend this issue, no matter how uneducated on the matter I may be.

I agree, you have done the right thing. I hope that Duncan will feel the same way.

We can all learn from this!

it takes true courage to apologize in public. more then fighting someone off of another person i think. kudos to your apology

It takes courage to admit that you have done wrong, but even more to admit it publicly. Steve Brown, i applaud you in being able to do this. As like some other members i was unaware of the full reasons of your disagreement, but i am happy that you stated a public apology and made it heart felt.


This is why I have a man crush on your mustache.

He doesn’t have a mustache…Anymore… ;D



I’ll quote a fellow yoyoer here, in the words of Richard Picket

we all make mistakes, and for the most part, it’s ok to make mistakes, as long as we realize them and do what has to be done.

You, mister, are a gentleman.

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It shows the true character of man to know when he’s wrong and to apologize when he’s screwed up. Steve, it’s great to hear that hopefully you and Duncan can let sleeping dogs lay and put that all behind you and move forward.

All wise men make mistakes, they just dont make them twice.

UnkleSteve I have to say, Everyone Makes Mistakes but not everyone can learn from them. Those who do learn from them become better people and yet it takes Bigger person to admit they where wrong but an even stronger person to apologize in public and see their mistakes not for what they where but for who they hurt and to maybe think about it twice in the Future.

Did you make these because the words never seem to line up to the expressions/actions?

Not many people can apologize and I tend to overreact and do the same type of apologies after. Business always tends to get sketchy at times especially when its personal or with family. Before I was old enough to Run it I used to work at my Bar with my brothers and that had a fight and left for a short while (I was young…the same) and now everything is kosher, we worked it out. I hope duncan is cool about this too, good luck.

Private apology and atonement calms the heart and soul. Public declarations draw attention and keep fanned the strewn sparks of anger…


I applaud you for apologizing to the public. I respect you for it. :slight_smile: