Athletes are worthy of praise

April 21, 2017
Marlon Samuels presents a cheque to visually impaired student Garfield Mitchell.
Germaine Mason

Athletes impact our lives in many ways, but mostly by what they do on the field of play.

People will always remember where they were at a particular time when their favourite athlete did something spectacular, something memorable.

Having covered sports for years now, I have come to find that what some athletes do outside of 'work' makes them even more worthy of praise.

Earlier this week, West Indies cricketer Marlon Samuels donated almost J$2 million to Jamaica's blind community, including a visually impaired young man who attends Church Teacher's College in Mandeville.

This is the same Marlon Samuels who retired Australian cricketer Geoff Lawson made some disparaging comments about last year, and had to dig deep into his pockets a couple weeks ago to pay for those unfortunate comments.

Sometimes people stand on the sidelines and make character assessments about athletes for a million reasons, but sometimes they need to take a closer look and see what is behind the facade. What they will sometimes find are human beings who, in spite of public perception, are pure of heart and spirit. They will also find that many of them do many good things that are never reported by media, more intent on looking for drama.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Chris Gayle are among those who have faced the wrath of the public for whatever reason, but still have the character to continue to help those in need.

Add Marlon Samuels to that list.




He has had to be bear what, in many instances, have been unfair criticisms from commentators and members of the general public, but what he does and has done off the field speaks to the person he truly is inside a good human being.

Kudos to you, Marlon Samuels. Keep up the good work

I could not end this without stating my deepest regrets on the sudden passing of Jamaica-born high jumper Germaine Mason. Mason died yesterday morning in a motor vehicle mishap by the Harbour View round-a-bout.

Over my many years of covering track and field, Germaine Mason was among the most sincere persons I have ever known. He had a great sense of humour, was easy to talk to, and you got the sense he did not carry a chip on his shoulder like so many others do.

He always had a kind word to say about someone. And even though he began representing Great Britain in 2006, Jamaica was always his home. It was also where he died. I will miss him.

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