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JOA to respond to Donald Trump's Bolt tweet

Published:Thursday | September 28, 2017 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey

The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) will break its silence on the controversial tweet by United States president Donald Trump, who made reference to Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt while criticising American sports stars who have been protesting during the playing of their national anthem at sporting events particularly the NFL.

JOA president Christopher Samuda told The Gleaner that his association will tomorrow issue a media release on the matter, which has not gone down well with many Jamaican fans, who using popular social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have expressed their disapproval of Trump's using the Jamaican sprinting star in his latest controversy.




Samuda said his administration is aware of the matter, but noted that he will be consulting with the board of directors before making any official statements.

He also said the association would address the incorrect attribution of a dismissive tweet, which was posted by a popular social media account that is regularly mistaken as the JOA's official account because it's handle includes the words 'Jamaica' and 'Olympics'.

Trump tweeted a five-year-old video of the now-retired Bolt cutting away from a live television interview during the London 2012 Summer Olympics so that he could stand for the U.S. national anthem.

Bolt, asked the reporter: "Can you cut the interview, is it live? National anthem ..." before standing quietly, while the American anthem played in the background during a medal ceremony inside the London Olympic Stadium. He would afterwards apologise for breaking the interview before answering her questions.


Viral video


The video became one of the most popular clips from the 2012 Olympic Games and is again making the rounds after Trump's reference.

"Even Usain Bolt from Jamaica, one of the greatest runners and athletes of all time, showed RESPECT for our National Anthem!", Trump tweeted on Tuesday night, completing his post with US and Jamaican flags plus a one minute and 22 second video clip.

Meanwhile, Bolt, who retired from the sport after a disappointing showing at the World Championships in London in August, has not yet responded to the tweet.

Trump faced criticism from the American sporting fraternity and was met with a massive protest at games last weekend after comments made at a recent rally in Huntsville, Alabama that NFL players who kneel during the American national anthem should be fired by their respective teams' owners.

The trend of players getting on a knee during the anthem started last year when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first performed the act in what he said was a protest against police brutality towards minorities in the United States. Kaepernick has since been out of contract and unable to find a new team.