Respect due to Yohan BlakeMonday, August 09, 2021
It is rather unfortunate and somewhat heartbreaking to see the mockery being made of Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake. Many seem to have forgotten that Blake is the second-fastest man in history with 9.69 seconds over 100m. He was also badly injured a few years ago and it seems he has never quite recovered.
Those of us who know our athletes very well, will recall when Blake burst onto the scene representing St Jago High School at the then boys' championships. The writing was on the wall that this kid would grow up to become a force to be reckoned with on the track. He is not only a former world champion but also an individual medallist and a member of the world-record-breaking 4x100m relay team.
This gentleman has served his country with distinction, and owes us nothing more. Despite his misfortunes, Blake has done well in charity, having launched the YB Afraid Foundation. Recently, the foundation built a new dormitory and football turf for the Mount Olivet Boys' Home in Manchester.
Athletics is mere entertainment for us, but it is a livelihood for many athletes who do not have a career otherwise. An injury can end it all in the blink of an eye; it is not easy.
With an approximate population of three million, this little dot on the world map has done the unthinkable in sports that we take it for granted and the spirit of entitlement transforms into unkindness and bullying of the lowest order. The memes are not funny.
Blake is not the only one, but he stands out this year at the centre of many social media jokes. I urge Jamaicans to be grateful and less entitled. Support our athletes throughout their highs and lows. And do remember that a day will come when they will lose form and we will watch them lose. This is when they need us the most, not when they are winning.We are still the nation which produced the two fastest men to ever grace the track. One of them is Yohan Blake.