Sun | Apr 30, 2017

Jamaicans disloyal and unpatriotic for booing Kevin 'Bus Boy' Hylton, plus others

Published:Tuesday | April 21, 2015 | 4:00 AMOral Tracey
Kevin 'Bus Boy' Hylton

The mini-controversy which erupted last Wednesday night at the Chinese Benevolent Association (CBA) after the first-round J. Wray & Nephew Contender Series boxing matchup between Jamaican Kevin 'Bus Boy' Hylton and the Guyanese Edmund Declou, which saw Hylton getting the benefit of a majority decision in a close fight and the crowd booing the Jamaican, to my mind, provides another clear index of Jamaicans' innate hatred of each other's success.

Almost the exact sequence of events took place in last season's Contender Series. In fact, Bus Boy Hylton himself was the subject of boos from the Jamaica crowd after getting the nod in a similarly close contest against a Caribbean opponent.

There was also the fight involving Jamaica's Glenroy 'Bumpy' Beckford, who initially got the nod of the judges in a controversial win over the Barbadian, Christopher 'Shaka' Henry, also in last year's Contender series.

Again, the Jamaican Beckford was peppered with a plethora of vociferous boos by an angry Jamaican crowd.

One remembers vividly the recent controversy that erupted in the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) in the lead-up to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) presidential race, after the hierarchy of the Jamaican board initially sought to support the Barbadian challenger ahead of the Jamaican incumbent.

HATING EACH OTHER'S SUCCESS

In addition to that string of recent sports-related cases, having grown up and lived in Jamaica all my life, and having seen first-hand how, as a people, we interact with each other, I am now fully convinced that somewhere deep in our psyche, Jamaicans don't like to see other Jamaicans reap success, and that, generally, we actually hate each other's success.

Just imagine the shoe being on the other foot and a Jamaican boxer goes to fight in Barbados or Guyana, and the hometown boxer gets the better of the Jamaica boxer in a close decision, is it fathomable that the Guyanese or the Barbadian crowd would boo their own fighter in support of the Jamaican?

Not only would that never happen anywhere in the Caribbean, but I posit that it would not happen anywhere else in the world.

All of this is taking place in the context of a sport of boxing, which is notorious all over the world for questionable decisions. In the cases mentioned, these were not outrageously bad decisions. These were all close decisions. I actually went as far as to watch the Bus Boy Hylton-Declou fight again, and the Guyanese was timid and unadventurous throughout the fight, while Hylton was also guilty of boring and unambitious tactics.

SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS

I was convinced that the Jamaican landed the more telling scoring punches, so in those circumstances, it was absolutely instructive to see the reaction of the Jamaican crowd to one of their won.

I doubt very much that Jamaicans are really and truly more self-righteous and honest than all other peoples of the world and that fair play, even in the sport of boxing, means so much more to Jamaicans than it means to anyone else in the world.

I really think there are deeper cultural, historical, and psychological issues involved.

Somewhere deep down in the abyss of our subconscious, we have a hidden, twisted, warped, innate and inexplicable affinity for people and things non-Jamaican and a commensurate converse hidden hatred of ourselves, which effectively renders us an inherently disloyal and unpatriotic people.