Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Go Grace-fully

Published:Tuesday | August 23, 2016 | 12:00 AM


So many unkind comments have been made about Grace Jackson's substandard performance as commentator during the ESPN's broadcast of the Rio Olympics. And, sorry to say, they were all justified.

Grace is not an experienced radio presenter, and in all fairness, she does not have the talent for the job, as one of the basic requirements is a pleasant speaking voice. Her voice is definitely not easy on the ear. Another requirement is command of the English language, but I won't say too much about that.

Grace obviously got an offer she could not refuse, but should have. The simple assignment of being sidekick to experienced presenters during Champs in Jamaica is quite a different thing to being an announcer for a major event. She was thrown into the deep end - completely out of her depth - and almost drowned. The mistake was made by ESPN, which hired her to do the job that Lance Whittaker and Hubert Lawrence had done so effectively and professionally in previous Olympics.

Someone's job could be on the line, for Grace was an embarrassment to the station and the weakest link in the Olympics broadcast. It pained me to listen to her struggles as she tried - sometimes too hard - to deliver the product. She did not deserve that. Grace is too nice a person to be subjected to the harsh criticisms and ridicule that resulted.

The moral of the story: One must know one's capabilities and limitations so that one does not tarnish one's image in the way that Grace did in Rio. Grace, announcing a track event is not your territory. Leave it to the professionals. If ever you're asked to do a similar assignment, please decline - Grace-fully.