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Tell athletes to show greater respect for anthem

Published:Tuesday | September 6, 2011 | 12:00 AM
From left: Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Michael Frater and Nesta Carter, members of the record-breaking 4x100m team. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer


I take the risk of being tarred and feathered, but I am willing to take the risk. Let me state emphatically that I am one of the thousands of persons who are extremely proud of the phenomenal feats performed by our super athlete, Usain Bolt.

However, I see something developing that needs to be dealt with before it gets out of hand, and that is Usain's excessive youthful exuberance. I do not have a problem with his antics before and after his races, because in the former, it helps him to relax, and in the latter, it is celebratory.

Gimmickry unacceptable

But when the national anthem is being played, no form of gimmickry is acceptable, and it does not matter what you have achieved, 'it nuh look good'.

So I am imploring those who are responsible for the mentoring of this young man not to overindulge in star worship, but rein him in before it reaches the stage where he becomes haughty, puffed up and overbearing.

Sit him down and give him a talk on limits, and what is proper and what is 'almshouse' behaviour. Let him know that as he continues to shine, he must remain humble, 'cause, as Mama used to tell me, 'There is a time and place for everything' and 'the higher monkey climb, the more him expose himself'.

PS: I am aware that Yohan Blake is also guilty of the anthem antics but, truth be told, I believe he was merely copying Usain.