Dec 16, 2016 Sports
It is rare that we dedicate time to respond to phantom authors like R. Pilgrim, whose letter: “The Kaieteur Sport agenda on Juman Yassin”, was carried in the sports pages of this newspaper on Wednesday, December 15, 2016.
We referred to this individual as a ‘phantom’ contributor because a first name was not provided to enable us to establish an identity for the individual, and any track record he/she may have had of contributing to our letter pages.
We have never seen this individual contribute to these pages before, which leaves us to believe that he/she was perhaps invented for the mischievous purpose of attempting to undermine our outstanding investigative and incisive work on the marathon run of K. A. Juman Yassin as President of The Guyana Olympic Association (GOA). For new readers, Yassin has been at the helm of that organisation for 20-plus years.
We do not usually dignify such writers as Pilgrim with responses for the sole reason that they are not brave enough to disclose their identities, but yet seeks the attention journalism generates as the Fourth Estate.
In Pilgrim’s case, it is a pitiable defence of the indefensible, which is simply that the 20-plus years of Yassin has not propelled the development of sports in Guyana; that the 20-plus years of Yassin has not given Guyana any Olympic medals; that the 20-plus years of Yassin has failed to support athletes tangibly outside of the IOC Elite Athlete Grant; that we do not know who were/are the beneficiaries of this grant; that we do not know how much has been expended to-date on the GOA Headquarters etc. This list could go on, but due consideration must be given to space.
Those were facts that took us in many different directions, and it is unfortunate that Pilgrim could not comprehend those directions, but rather saw “the same old lame story every few days”.
What Pilgrim failed to provide in his letter is a comprehensive comparative analysis of the articles to show readers where we were repetitive apart from background details when necessary. Such an analysis would have strengthened his/her argument, but instead we are forced to respond to an emotional rant that used the chilling imagery of slavery: “lynch mob”, which was completely out of context.
Unfortunately, Pilgrim’s letter found space in the nation’s leading newspaper – one that prides itself in being a pioneer in investigative work. This fact about Kaieteur News nullifies Pilgrim’s weak assertion that because other media houses have not followed suit to put the microscope on the tenure of Yassin, we were/are ineffective.
Pilgrim in his attempt to discredit our work tried to hoodwink this nation when he stated that no other media house had taken umbrage with Yassin’s unproductive reign. This is simply false since at least three other media entities had carried stories on the issue.
This reply only comes in wake of Pilgrim’s direct attack on the Kaieteur Sports Department in his letter – one that should have, under normal circumstances, elicited an Editor’s note. However, we would like to challenge Pilgrim in his/her next contribution to inform readers of some of the major achievements of Yassin and thus offer more justification for his/her so far stifled defence of the incumbent GOA President.
For now, what we have from Pilgrim is a barefaced attack on Kaieteur Sports Department for its outstanding insightful investigative work leading up to the Elections of a major sports organisation in Guyana – a normal practice in any other part of the world.
Pilgrim must be reminded that it was Andrew Jennings, one of the world’s foremost investigative sports journalists whose body of work pertaining to the atrocities of FIFA, initiated the downfall of the previously indomitable FIFA hierarchy, including Sepp Blatter, Jack Warner and Jeffrey Webb et al. For Pilgrim’s edification, he could research the inspiring work of Jennings.
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