ANTONIO WATSON: CENTRALIZED IN CONTROVERSY

by | May 20, 2021 | General | 0 comments

Photo Credit: Jamaica Gleaner
The image above shows Petersfield High School athlete Antonio Watson (left) and Bryan Levell of the Edwin Allen High School. In Jamaica, around the final week of March is the ISSA Boys and Girls athletic championships. However, because of the pandemic, it was canceled in 2020 but was back in the month of May this year. The five-day event showcases the best and most talented teenagers in the country, competing for records and the fame of winning an event at champs in front of the ecstatic crowd of over 35 thousand.

Antonio Watson, the youth 400-meter champion, is the center of controversy as he made a gun gesture at opponent Bryan Levell of Edwin Allen High while coming back to win the class one 200-meter finals at the National Stadium in Jamaica. Watson won the event in 20.74 seconds, with Levell second in 20.83 seconds. Even though he put in his routine run-from-behind strategy, what is being spoken about is the gestures he made.

Watson shaped his hand in the form of a pistol and figuratively, discharge one round at the opponent. When doing his post-race interview he stated that he meant nothing by the gestures as he respects Levell and touts him as a really good athlete and competitor. Even then the uproar from onlookers and media personnel encouraged a negative light on the 19-year-old, thereafter he released a statement, publicly apologizing for his actions after the race.

Photo Credit: Tim Layden
Some people have come out and join Watson’s side, such as sprint superstar Usain Bolt. The 8-time Olympic Gold medalist and World Record holder in the 100 and 200 meters went through similar treatment after pounding his chest while he was 60 meters out from the finish line with the gap he had. He was chastised by many journalists calling him “showboat”, “showoff”, “arrogant”, and even “immature”.

Bolt said to rather than condemn the youngster, he should be nurtured and molded to become the talent he can become. Personally, the gesture had not a lot wrong with what the Petersfield athlete did, but for aiming the gesture on the opponent Lavell. We have seen gestures like that on the world stage by the United States female relay team, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Justin Gatlin so the gesture has been somewhat accepted.

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Well, I am 18 years old currently undergoing my Bachelors of Science in Media and communications. I'm currently in my first semester and I would like to be a sports analyst in the future. I am also from Jamaica. I would like to work at one of the biggest sports companies in the world (ESPN/SKY/BT) but everyone needs a start and I would love it if you were to give me that start.

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