Fri | Jun 18, 2021

Antonio Watson apologises for offensive gesture at Champs

Published:Sunday | May 16, 2021 | 10:58 PM
Petersfield High School's Antonio Watson (left) celebrates with a gun play gesture towards Edwin Allen High School's Bryan Levell as he crosses the finish line ahead of him in the Class One 200m final during the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletic C
Petersfield High School's Antonio Watson (left) celebrates with a gun play gesture towards Edwin Allen High School's Bryan Levell as he crosses the finish line ahead of him in the Class One 200m final during the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletic Championships at the National Stadium on Saturday.

ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' Athletics Championships (Champs) Class One 200m winner Antonio Watson has apologised for a gesture he made towards the end of the race at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Watson, of Petersfield High School, gestured in the shape of a gun and pretended to fire a shot at Edwin Allen High School's Bryan Levell as he passed him metres before crossing the finish line.

The incident has been met with public criticism amid Jamaica's troubling murder rate.

Watson said in a statement that Champs 2021 was a success but he recognises that his behaviour could jeopardise that.

"I therefore want to unreservedly apologise to all the stakeholders, my school, fans, and family for my actions," he said.

"I have taken full responsibility for such actions as it is in no way a reflection of the ethos of my school, the principles of my coach or the position of ISSA or any of the sponsors.

"Upon reflection, I recognise that my gestures could have been misleading and I have no desire to negatively influence others. In fact, going forward, I aspire to demonstrate positive behaviours and attitudes that will inspire countless young Jamaicans to strive for excellence and make our country a true beacon of what is good in this world."