Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Giving back

Published:Tuesday | October 13, 2015 | 10:04 AMLaurie Foster, Contributor

Recently there appeared a story borne of and written by this columnist. It featured a suggestion, albeit a public one, to two of Jamaica's best ever sprinters, who sat atop the planet during the 2005 to 2007 period.

Quoting from the article, Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson "had produced positive samples when tested for forbidden substances ... Under World body dictates, drugs in the system meant one overarching thing - the performer is ultimately responsible. The verdict was guilty, as charged."

The unfolding of the drama continues.

"They copped 18-month bans which were later reduced on appeal to six months by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). It was in an attempt to salvage a damaged reputation that the matter was taken to the higher court and following that, the revelation came that the company that sold the substance to the athletes had delivered monetary compensation."

The suggestion was made that the two athletes make a contribution (in cash or kind) to the high schools where their enormous talent was nurtured. This would be a noble deed and not without precedent. Programs across the sport's firmament need funds to sustain themselves.

It is not inconceivable that there are some athletic gifts languishing at either institution that are waiting to be further developed, with lack of sufficient funds being the obstacle.

In summary, the bottom line is that both schools, Charlemont High (Powell) and Manchester High (Simpson) could make productive use of gifted funds. This is said in absence of what this columnist thinks would have been an unnecessary verification check.

This columnist does not take lightly the denial of a basic human right. However, the words of detractors to the thought of a 'sharing of the wealth' continue to rankle. They ignited the revolutionary and repressive thought of applying the muzzle to persons, who, as the saying goes, are entitled to their opinion. Open to question here is how much should such an entitlement be allowed to corrupt the mind of the reasonable and well thinking?

A responder to the article, Wayne, and they are to be encouraged, described it as "an improper suggestion", going on to lambaste by further comment "tek yu eye offa di people dem money, some a unu too damn grudgeful and bad mind", ending his typed assault with "disgusting'.

Another, Raymond, posting under a banner as though associated with Powell's school, identified the thought as "bad mind active as usual!!!".

Yet, another, a female, Georgia, was equally dismissive, asking some questions.

"Share which wealth? Where were the supporters when they were stand accused?

"No money can remove the tarnish, but it will help them and their family and who they want to give."

Tony wanted to know if the writer was "petitioning for the athletes (Powell and Simpson) to give up some of their settlement $$," while wondering how serious was the writer.

Foster's Fairplay is fuming, straining at the bit, to say: "Shoo and leave the studio".

The article spoke to offering assistance in a struggle, to produce similar brilliance that these two outstanding and well-loved athletes have. They both have represented Jamaica with distinction, pocketing major medals at the highest level.

Yet, the four posters would like to see some little ones for the future suffer for the lack of well needed funds, than follow in the footsteps of those who came before.

Shame on you. Your voices are better not heard on this subject.