Friday, 19 July 2013

BECOMING CLEARER – Why the media behaves the way they do

My last blog mentioned Nesta Carter as testing positive, let me retract that forthwith and apologise profusely to this athlete for such a blunder on my part.

Sensationalism is key when reporting anything, and if we understand that, then we understand why the media sees it as necessary to throw Tyson Gay, Asafa, Sherone, Smikle and others under the bus.

I berated Asafa for years because he did not run through the tape and finish strongly in his races. As I said in my previous blog, all the athletes take something, whether it is banned or not is a different matter. I honestly think the only thing Asafa has ever been guilty of is not finishing his races strongly…….full stop. I don’t see him as someone who would indulge in doping; none of our athletes for that matter (yes, call me naïve if so be the case).

A positive test for a banned substance creates such a long shadow it is almost impossible to redeem yourself. Ohurugu and Justin Gatlin have somehow found a way to remove that shadow. These athletes have come back from bans and woven themselves back into the athletics fabric, so there is still a way possible to seek redemption from a positive test and even a ban. Steve Mullings, sorry things never worked out how they should have, big up what you did for Jamaica same way.

I read where Asafa’s new trainer says they are looking for a scapegoat and threw him (the trainer) under the bus. Now the only new addition to the equation is this...............for want of a better word, person, although I could find other words that start with p that would be apt. I am giving Asafa the benefit of the doubt on this one. I understand Franno’s stance, however, distancing himself from the issue so quickly is quite distasteful, due to his longstanding relationship with Asafa, but hey, Franno will always be Franno.

This new episode just highlights our lack of support for each other and speaks volumes of us as a nation in my view. I hear David Rudder’s song ‘Rally roun’ the West Indies’ and it so galvanises things even when West Indies cricketers are doing ‘not so good’. Who will be rallying around Asafa? Sherone? Smikle? I think that should be us.

The line from the movie Training Day ‘it is not what you know, it is what you can prove’ has Asafa and the others in a vice grip. What was proven is that a banned substance was found in their system, and I believe they did not willingly consume the components to provide a positive drug test. But the facts are the facts right now.

I think my co-workers now understand why I berate anyone that does not give their all when performing for Jamaica. The entire country has plunged into depression with the positive tests by our athletes.

When athletes perform their best and lose the country still celebrates, when they don’t give their all and lose, the country is upset. The athletes are like our children, friends, spouse, brother, sister, all rolled into one, which is why I really don’t understand how we can turn our backs on them so quickly.

In a utopian reality I would just wake up tomorrow from a dream and none of this ever happened.
© 2013 Antonio Bell. All rights reserved

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All the commentary posted in this publication are my personal view(s) and do not reflect the view(s) of any Association, Federation or Governing Body.