In defence of KC athlete
The Editor, Sir:
I refer to an editorial dated March 30, titled 'The Shaming of Champs'. Reading this article was hurtful and disappointing. I, as well as many other Jamaicans, have grown to respect the model journalism of The Gleaner and its ability to censor the information that is printed in its pages.
Having said that, let me say that the article was used as a medium to target one athlete and the institution he represents. How fair is it to blame one athlete for all that is wrong in the society? How fair is it to question his character without knowing him?
I would like to use this medium to highlight the callousness of this writer and to correct the propaganda he has managed to spread to the public. Even though Kingston College was not in the top spot at the end of Champs, it seems we still cannot avoid the harsh criticism of detractors.
I would like to know if the editorial writer took the time out to talk to the young man whom he tried to embarrass in your paper? Did he try to find out the motivation or emotions behind the actions displayed? Was he watching the entire Champs broadcast? Did he notice how hard this young man worked to achieve what he did? Who was the gesture made towards? Did he notice other even worse gestures made by other athletes? Apparently not.
This young man is known to me personally and to many others who are a part of the Fortis family. For us, the description given in your paper seems to be far from the truth. We can all attest that he is a great athlete, a self-driven individual, a go-getter, a competent leader, a well mannered young man, a charming personality, a jovial soul and non-violent in nature.
As for the 'inappropriate' celebratory display he exhibited, there was no connotation of violence attached to it and neither was there any intention of disrespecting or disgracing the sporting arena or this country.
Instead of tearing down our youth, why not try to steer them in the right direction with a more positive stance? If we all decide to give up on them and pull the rug from under their feet, who is to say they will ever trust us enough to look to us for direction?
I am, etc.,
Kingston College Teacher