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Native Spirit sends quarter of tee-shirt proceeds to Akeem

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) announced today that it has raised $72,300 for former two-time World Youth Cup defender Akeem Adams from the sale of Native Spirit “I Support Akeem” tee-shirts and tickets sold for the “Akeem Adams section” in the mid-October international between Trinidad and Tobago and New Zealand at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.

Crucially, TTFA press officer Shaun Fuentes revealed this evening, on I95.5 FM talk show “The Fearless One”, that only quarter of the money raised from tee-shirt sales went to the Akeem Adams “Heart of a Warrior” fund.

Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago and New Zealand football teams pose in Native Spirit "I support Akeem Adams" tee-shirts before kick off at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago and New Zealand football teams pose in Native Spirit “I support Akeem Adams” tee-shirts before kick off at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Wired868)

Native Spirit, according to the TTFA, sold 2,000 tee-shirts, which suggested that $200,000 exchanged hands between the company and members of the public.

But the TTFA revealed that just $50,000 raised from the sale of tee-shirts will go to the ailing footballer, who is fighting for his life in Budapest after suffering a massive heart attack last month.

“The TTFA never said that full proceeds would go to Akeem Adams,” Fuentes told the I95.5 FM programme, which was hosted by Andre Baptiste and also featured the Wired868 editor.

Fuentes admitted the TTFA did not inform the public, via the media or otherwise, that only “part proceeds” would go to the player. And he claimed that the TTFA did not know what percentage from the sale of tee-shirts would go to the player, even as it urged supporters to buy the Native Spirit product at a press conference on 3 October 2013.

The TTFA’s admission led to numerous calls from persons incensed that such a small portion of their contribution, via shirt sales, went to the “Soca Warrior.”

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago international World Youth Cup defender Akeem Adams (left).
Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago international World Youth Cup defender Akeem Adams (left).

However, Fuentes did not concede that the public should have been told beforehand exactly how much of their contribution would go to the 22-year-old Adams.

The TTFA also claimed today that the final attendance for the New Zealand friendly was 10,166 with 446 tickets purchased for the Akeem Adams section.

It meant that the TTFA collected $55,750 in the player’s name on match day with 40 percent of that money, or $22,300, eventually going to aid the former Presentation College (San Fernando) student’s recovery from a devastating heart attack.

Unlike with the Native Spirit arrangement, patrons were aware of how much money from each ticket sold for the New Zealand match would go to the player.

TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee said he was pleased with the contribution from the local football body.

“We made a commitment to the cause and have been able to make a substantial contribution towards the fund from proceeds realized from the New Zealand match,” stated Tim Kee. “It is our hope that young Akeem and his family will benefit in some way from this contribution and know that we will continue to do what we can to assist in his recovery.”

Together, the TTFA and Native Spirit raised $255,750 in Akeem Adams’ name; $72,300 from that money is earmarked for the player while $183,450 went to either local organisation.

At present, Adams, who is an employee of Hungarian team Ferencvarosi, is in the ICU of the Vasmajori Heart Clinic where he continues to fight for his life after a massive heart attack.

Photo: Ferencvarosi and Trinidad and Tobago left back Akeem Adams. (Courtesy www.fradi.hu)
Photo: Ferencvarosi and Trinidad and Tobago left back Akeem Adams.
(Courtesy www.fradi.hu)

Adams, according to his uncle Ivan Dick, is said to be resting comfortably and his condition is stabilizing. However, he is not yet strong enough to undergo a heart transplant, which is crucial to his recovery.

Those wishing to contribute directly to Adams can do so at any RBC branch through his mother, Ancilla Dick, at account number #100085172658914.

AboutLasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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7 comments

  1. My sentiments exactly, Lasana. Put another way, what was Native Spirit’s contribution to the effort? The accurate answer to that question is what is annoying, justifiably in my view, Chica Emery and me…

  2. That’s why I don’t trust charities they get millions in donations give a small percentage towards the cause & pocket the lion’s share.

  3. Only quarter of the tshirt funds went to Akeem? WTF is really going on. Next time PLEASE let us know how much of the funds will go towards the cause. This is shit.

  4. well to be honest, saying ONLY quarter of the raised funds went to akeem does sound bad. but when you think that it might have costed roughly around 100 for the Tshirt, at least in my opinion (descent jersey plus prints), then that negates half of the proceeds. so out of the PROFIT, im not sure how it works but id think that maybe the retail outlet might have taken a small cut as well as transportation costs or whatever miscellaneous, they contributed half of the PROFIT to the Akeem Adams fund which doesnt sound AS BAD as ‘only quater of the proceeds’. Im stiill happy that people went out and bought the Tee shirts and supported the cause and a substantial amount was raised in such a short period.

    • If the TTFA didn’t think tee-shirts were the best way to raise money for Akeem Adams, they could have tried something else. I think 25 percent is a pretty low cut for a charitable cause.
      The public donated so I don’t think it unreasonable to think that Native Spirit might also waive some of the associated costs that you mentioned nidz.

    • nidz but that means that we should not buy the tshirt but instead donate to akeem directly – as it stands buying the tshirt simply diverts 3/4 of the funds that people are directing to akeem into business for Native Spirit who extract the lion’s share and also sent 2000 shirt into the population gaining branding – plus goodwill for making akeem tshirts – so at the end of the day when you want to support Akeem, you donate to the Akeem bank account NOT buy the tshirt