Tue | Jul 23, 2024

Athletes need to give their all and we need to support them

Published:Saturday | June 15, 2024 | 12:06 AM
Jamaica’s Renaldo Cephas (right) marked by Edarlyn Reyes (left) of Dominican Republic during their match at the National Stadium, Kingston.
Jamaica’s Renaldo Cephas (right) marked by Edarlyn Reyes (left) of Dominican Republic during their match at the National Stadium, Kingston.

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Ian ‘Pepe’ Goodison was my favourite footballer in a game where he was injured and needed to be taken off the field. However, as the coach gestured to make the substitution, Pepe refused to leave and later scored the decisive goal. That is the 1998 campaign. I remember how joyful we as a country were when we qualified for France – it brought a sense of pride to all Jamaicans. Perhaps none more than the players on that team.

Since then, we have tried with what some might argue (not me) is a better talent pool from which to choose players. Nevertheless, we have not made it back to the World Cup. Is it that Concacaf has gotten better? Yes, it has, but we, too, have gotten better. However, there was something about the spirit of that team that qualified for the World Cup. We could see it every time the players touched the field; they always left it all on it – every single one of them.

And, with that, we Jamaicans supported that team. We would go to war for that team because we knew they would give their all for the black, green, and gold. Yes, of course, many of our current players are the same. We need to support our players. However, we also need to be critical of our athletes when they say one thing and do another, which shows that the Jamaican colours may not mean everything to them.

It is either you love Jamaica or you do not love Jamaica. We cannot profess undying love and, in the moments that Jamaica most needs you, for menial reasons (mental health is not menial), you are not on the field fighting for the country’s colours.

Jamaicans deserve the best. We cannot settle for anything less.

Big up, Sir Bolt, who has always worn Jamaica proudly on his chest. That is someone we all will go to war with and for. Give the man his money!

FR RICARDO S. J.