Letters to the Editor

Teach Leon Bailey meaning of the word team

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

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Dear Editor,

I am stunned, shocked, saddened and deeply disappointed to read comments attributed to Leon Bailey as to why, although in the island, he made himself unavailable for the recent Reggae Boyz encounter with Bonaire.

If he has been quoted correctly, Bailey is saying outright that unless his brother, Kyle Butler, gets an automatic place on the team he will continue to refuse to don the national colours as, in the eyes of Bailey, his brother Kyle being invited to attend trials seems to be an insult, as perhaps just the fact that his adopted brother is a star should make him be an automatic selection. What absolute rubbish!

Bailey goes on to suggest that he needs quality players on the team, like his brother, to complement him, as without such quality players, like his brother, he — and presumably the team — is destined to fail.

Comments like that certainly will not endear Bailey to his potential teammates, whom he clearly does not hold in high regard. From the start, it suggests that Bailey's presence on the squad would be highly disruptive and, despite his immense talent, I therefore urge the Jamaica Football Federation to not give in to this form of 'strong-arm-manship' and 'near-nepotism'.

For Bailey to feel as he does is one thing, but to have the nerve to actually articulate such a position speaks volumes of the level of disdain he has for the Jamaican football fraternity, and his immense arrogance at such a young age. Why doesn't Leon try that same position with his club side and seek that it signs his brother Kyle, and withhold his services? I wonder how long it would take them to tell their star forward that he is misguided.

When athletes go astray with their thought processes — like Bailey clearly has — one hopes that their managers step in and right the ship. However, in this instance, therein seems to lie the problem, as Bailey's manager is also his adopted father, Craig Butler, who is also the father of Kyle Butler.

Leon Bailey is articulating a position oftentimes put forth by Craig Butler that unless his son Kyle plays then we will never see Leon in the national colours. Again, what absolute rubbish! Who is selecting the team? Is it to be the national coach or Leon Bailey?

While I know Jamaican football needs the services of a Leon Bailey, I would implore the Jamaica Football Federation to tell him, his father, and stepbrother which lake to submerge their offer in, as no player — great as they may be — is worth selling one's soul to obtain.

Leon Bailey is an incredible football talent, but he seems to be on the wrong path, and one only needs to thank his father for leading him there. True that the chip never falls very far from the block.

M York


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