Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Foster's Fairplay | Team Bolt needs to step up

Published:Tuesday | August 30, 2016 | 8:00 AM

Foster's Fairplay is calling for a moment of reflection and tutorship. It is deemed most crucial at this stage of the journey in the nation's, by a long way, most successful sport.

At a time when a country blessed with overflowing track and field talent should be celebrating the heroics of its athletes, there comes a disturbing distraction.

Jamaica's sporting hero plus, Usain Bolt, has had his name and image splattered over publications with a sorry message resonating across the world.

There are those who claim that these carriers of news are of dubious authenticity and by extension, credibility.

Another sector speaks of the sordid content, being a standard reaction to someone's rise to global prominence and widespread and wide-ranged attention attracted by being in the limelight.

The fact that all this is accompanied by upward social and economic mobility can only increase the intrigue and interest shown. True or not, the impact is huge. In that regard, the tear down mentality is even moreso.

Social media has logged on in massive proportions, as it will always do in situations like these. Gossip and idle chat are a popular way to pass time.

 

UNPRECEDENTED

 

However, whether there is legitimacy or existence of the belief factor, Foster's Fairplay must ask some questions. For the most part, if not all, they emanate from queries brought to the column's door by concerned parties, who wish for the velvety feel and delicious taste of the Rio experience to last somewhat longer.

On the eve of his 30th birthday, Bolt, who has been tantalising the country's taste buds in the sport since his boyhood days in 2002, completed the unprecedented and scarcely imaginable Olympic triple triple.

He gorged on the compliments of the world, but tempered their singular target and spontaneity with a pause to remember and recognise.

Whom and what?

His teammates in the three relays, without whose efforts and support in carrying the baton around successfully, three of the nine gold medals would not have been accomplished.

With that considered, indeed, there is just cause to celebrate.

One of the persons querying the alleged nocturnal escapades of our hero has accompanied sporting teams out of Jamaica to overseas competitions that attract international participation and audience. Her exposure to rare talent and the management thereof is, in the view of this columnist, unquestionable.

 

FESTIVE MOMENT

 

What she asks, quite legitimately, is where were Bolt's teammates in his festive moment?

Were they not invited to be a part of the celebration, having played their role, as acknowledged by the celebrant himself?

In her state of disquiet at the allegations, she continued to express additional worry, speaking through this column to the big man - mushrooming in notoriety - as his mammoth and breathtaking achievements on the track are thrown into the wider public space.

Her impassioned complaint to Foster's Fairplay was "Bolt should know that people will destroy his image if given the chance, therefore birthday or not he should never let himself be led by some Rio women. This is not Jamaica, they will destroy his reputation."

There are a few who see the reported activity as almost the right or the privilege of a 30-year-old, the word ''stallion'' being mentioned.

The irate female sporting manager responded. "Thirty or not him never see movie where people trap people in situation like this? I am so mad at his ignorance, or is it fame (which is telling him) so I can do anything?

She went on even more infuriated than before, putting blame on the icon's managers.

"Sometimes the limelight is too much for some of us and we can't handle it. The managers are no better, them know how to make him run fast but not how to protect himself from other things. 'Ah bwoy, somebody need fi blast the managers dem."

Foster's Fairplay declares prior face-offs with Team Bolt. Wounds still gape.

However, this corner is equally disturbed. In the absence of malice, a word is in order for those who encircle the country's most successful sporting talent ever.

They are entrusted with a task even more awesome than he who they are paid to protect. That is their accountability for his legacy to generations to come. If it is beyond them they should be honest enough to let go.

Be careful, the world is watching.

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