Jeremy Stenberg leaves Metal Mulisha

Jeremy Stenberg throwing down in Cameron, Arizona while filming for Metal Mulisha's new film, "Black Friday." Brendan Lutes/TransWorld Motocross

Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg has issued a statement for the first time since the news broke on Dec. 16 that he had ended his 11-year relationship with Metal Mulisha. Riding for the Mulisha since the freestyle motocross company's inception in 1999, Stenberg is perhaps the most recognizable rider on the team, which includes founder and 11-time X Games medalist Brian Deegan and seven-time medalist Todd Potter.

Stenberg's statement Friday read: "We originally started out as a group of guys that just loved to ride dirt bikes and hang out -- and hey, if we could earn a little money doing so, even better. For me, the Mulisha has gotten away from that these days. I am appreciative of everything that the Mulisha has meant to me, but at the same time I feel like I have been a loyal and constant presence on the team. I continue to compete and win competitions and always try to give back to our fans. As a company, the now very corporate Metal Mulisha was not supportive of the other things in my career. I think, for some reason, I was being pushed aside so the decision was really inevitable."

According to Metal Mulisha's Marketing Director Ryan Hagy, the reason for Stenberg's departure from the team stems from the two parties not being able to reach a contractual agreement for 2011, as well as Stenberg wanting to start his own endeavors.

"It's not even a matter of negotiation to where he wanted more money, it was more or less him wanting to pursue his own dreams, which we fully support," explained Hagy.

Though Stenberg will not wear Metal Mulisha clothing and be branded with their logo in 2011 and beyond, Hagy stresses that he will remain a part of the Mulisha family. "Twitch is family and always will be, so it shouldn't change the dynamics of our friendship. He'll still be riding with us at the Mulisha Compound on a daily basis and going with us on our film trips."

Stenberg stated the contrary. "I unfortunately will not remain part of the Mulisha family, ride at the compound, be part of the riding trips and still be part of 'business as usual' -- that could not be further from the case. I still have friends on the Mulisha team, but things are not 'business as usual' at the Mulisha. The ego of the individual behind the brand leaves no room for the advancement of anyone else on the team -- so now it's time for me to leave and do my own deal."

This news comes just as Metal Mulisha has begun production on their new film, "Black Friday," set for a 2011 release. Slated to be one of the main riders in the film, Hagy insists that Stenberg will still be in "Black Friday," but not in the same capacity as was previously anticipated.

Stenberg recently won the Fan Favorite award at the second annual AFMXA Ramp Awards in Pala, Calif. The nine-time X Games medalist is also filming for VH1's "The X-Life," which will feature vert skater Pierre-Luc Gagnon, BMXer Cory Nastazio, Stenberg and their significant others as they go about the day-to-day business of being an action sports star. "The X-Life" is currently in production and set to air Jan. 10.