Wed | Dec 19, 2018

The Wright View | Officials must be held accountable

Published:Tuesday | July 12, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The shooting deaths of two black men in the United States of America by white police officers and its tragic aftermath in Dallas, Texas, last week dominated the international news for days.

After reporting the chilling details of the deaths, the media spent many hours and pages exploring the possible causes of the continued demise of black men at the hands of white police officers

Experts from different walks of life put forward many different theories, while skilfully avoiding the REAL reason. In the United States and, indeed, around the world, members of the police force are regularly accused of unlawfully taking the life of citizens because they can do it and get away with it. Even with video and audio evidence, the 'squaddie' mentality, as well as 'smart' lawyers, ensure that very few of the offending police officers end up in jail.

It seems to matter not how graphic and compelling the evidence is, there is no jail time; the sanctions (if any) are trivial when compared to the effects of the death of the citizen on witnesses and family members.

The same thing occurs in sports. Athletes' careers and lives are damaged and destroyed by administrative 'errors/blunders' with absolutely no sanctions applied to the guilty official or administrator.

In England, Liverpool defender and French national team sure pick, Mamadou Sakho, was informed by officials of UEFA, the ruling body of European football, that he had failed a drug test after a football game in Europe. The prohibited substance was stated to be a 'fat burner' and he was suspended provisionally for 30 days.




The match in question was a Europa League match between Liverpool and Manchester United. The match was played on the 22nd of April and Mr Sakho and his club were informed on the 24th of April. The suspension began with immediate effect.

That meant that this professional footballer missed the Europa League semi-final and final (Liverpool vs Villareal and Sevilla, respectively), as well as the Euro 16 semi-finals and finals against Germany and Portugal, only to be told in July, "Oops! The drug was not a banned substance after all!"

What nonsense is this?

However, I can bet that the name(s) of the obviously incompetent official(s) will never be revealed to the public and they will therefore be able to continue along their merry way, without sanction.

In Jamaica, the recently concluded Olympic trials revealed multiple errors/ blunders perpetrated by officials who will never be named or sanctioned and who will be free to continue along their merry way without sanction.

In the horse racing industry, raceday stewards disqualify winners, only to have their decision overturned by the Jamaica Racing Commission, who, upon reviewing the film of the race, realised that the disqualified horse had absolutely nothing to do with the 'interference' that resulted in the disqualification.




The result is that the winning horse is reinstated, the owner is compensated, while the lifeblood of the industry, the punters, are shafted and for the officials who were responsible. Oops.

It is important for us in this small Third-World Caribbean island, Jamaica, to learn from what is happening in other countries where those responsible for egregious-life-altering mistakes are allowed to make excuses that are accepted by administrators who seem to be oblivious to the fact that '99 per cent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses' (George Carter).

Those responsible MUST be sanctioned. The result will be that we, the onlookers, will realise that to ignore evil is to become a partner to it. Let us learn from the mistakes of others. Let us, as a people, demand that our leaders stop accepting excuses and 'oopses' as reasons for incompetence and/ or corruption.