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National athletes are being treated with disdain! Thompson’s email exchange with Sport Ministry official

“For you to address me in the manner of your last email was nothing short of disrespectful; in fact, it was the most disrespectful email I have ever read. What gives you the authority to address me or any athlete in the tone that you just did is beyond me.

“[…] It appears that as long as Darryl Smith is the Minister of Sport, athletes will continue to be treated with disdain…”

The following is an email exchange between Trinidad and Tobago’s three-time Olympic medallist and sprinter Richard “Torpedo” Thompson and Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs sport development officer Shabbir Mohammed.

The emails are shared with Thompson’s consent.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Richard Thompson acknowledges his supporters after copping the 100-metre title in the NAAA National Open Championships on 25 June 2016 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

(From Shabbir Mohammed on 26 January, 2018)

Dear Mr Thompson,

The Division of Physical Education and Sport has received an application recommending you for Elite Athlete Assistance for the fiscal year 2017-2018.

Your submission includes:

Recommendation from the TTOC; Recommendation from the NAAATT; Personal Information Form; Nomination Form; Annual Performance Evaluation Form; Quarterly Tracking Form; One Quarterly Financial Statement from 10/2016 to 10/2017; Training Schedule Form; Copy of MRI Report chart 237183 dated 11/01/17; Invoice  from Dr Anyl Lloyd Gopeesingh dated 07/06/16; Referral report to hip surgeon Dr Scheinberge: Dallas dated 05/10/2017; Report from Partners Imaging Center of Sarasota dated 12/09/16; Coaching Report dated 30th November 2017.

Notably:

The TTOC recommends you for elite funding as a member of the 4 x 100m relay pool; The NAAATT recommends you for elite funding for the 100m discipline with a T&T 2017 ranking #2 with 10.04 secs; Your Annual Performance Evaluation Form lists you as Injured for 2017; Your coaching report says that you can return to full training by March 2018; Financial Statements for monies previously received and supported by bills are outstanding.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s Richard Thompson (right) tries unsuccessfully to hold off Jamaica legend Usain Bolt in the first round of the 100-metre event at the Rio Olympics on 13 August, 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Please do not hesitate to come in to review these documents and/or to ensure that the correct submissions are made by you and your representing bodies for the correct application to be processed for consideration.

Thank you in advance for your assistance  on this matter.

Regards,

(From Richard Thompson on 27 January, 2018)

Hi Mrs (sic) Mohammed,

Thank you for your email to seek clarification on my forms submitted. Can you please let me know what money previously received you’re referring to because I haven’t received elite funding since 2015. Can you also please specify what bills are outstanding?

I have provided bills for close to US$50,000 of my money spent to prepare for 2016/2017, which was received, reviewed and approved by both the TTOC and the NAAA.

I did hip surgery a week ago and I’m currently in the process of intense rehab. As a result I will not be able come in to review the information. However, Natalie and Ruthven Thompson would be glad to come in this week to get things sorted out if necessary.

Kind Regards,

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Richard Thompson (third from right) prepares to chase Jamaica star Asafa Powell (centre), after the latter had received the baton from Usain Bolt at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

(From Shabbir Mohammed on 6 February, 2018)

Dear Mr Thompson,

Your situation is unfortunate. I will try my best to assist you to the best of my ability. Please consider the following information:

You have signed an agreement dated June 10th 2015 to provide documents that include providing a financial statement/ per tranche supported by bills; Your application for the 2016 season was incomplete; There was no medical report; No training schedule; No coach’s report; No financial statement supported by bills; You did prepare a budget drawn up in a table by pen on an 81/2” x 11” sheet of copy paper; As such you did not fill out the Quarterly Financial Statement form for 2015-2016 that required signatures and stamps of you, the TTOC and the NAAATT; E-mail was sent by Ms Emile to you on 17/03/2016 to let you know what was missing and the attached form to fill out.

Due to outstanding documents, no payments would have been made.

It is important to note that you have been injured and recommended for assistance to compete. You were not recommended for funding for medical assistance as an injured athlete by your governing bodies for 2016 or 2017 (as per elite athlete assistance policy).

I asked you to clarify the documents sent in for this year 2018 because if I place them on file it may be falsification. It is important to clear up the inconsistencies especially where you are the one providing the information to the governing bodies that recommend you for funding.

Photo: (From left) Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago facility manager Anthony Blake, three-time Olympic medallist Richard “Torpedo” Thompson, Sport Minister Darryl Smith and then Public Utilities Minister Fitzgerald Hinds.

Your report says that you may be able to fully train in March 2018 and another says that there is no world ranking for 2017.

Can an injured athlete who has no world ranking be elite?

Nevertheless, any monies disbursed have to be accounted for before any other type of funding is disbursed (as per service level agreement).

I see one financial statement for period July—December 2015 but no bills to back up the items.

If you did submit the bills before, kindly provide some document where you did so.

It is your responsibility and not the Division of Physical Education and Sport’s, NAAATT’s, TTOC’s or Minister’s to account for funding that you received. They do not want further funding as an athlete, you do.

I just want to do my job to start processing a completed application. Please ensure that the proper application is complete and submitted to your various associations for endorsement to be sent over to the Ministry.

If you are dissatisfied with the information I have just provided, please let me know so that another officer may be assigned your case.

Regards,

Photo: The Trinidad and Tobago quartet of (from left) Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Richard Thompson pose on the podium after winning bronze in the London 2012 Olympics 4x100m relay final on 11 August 2012.
The Trinidad and Tobago team were subsequently upgraded to silver.
(Copyright AFP 2017/Johannes Eisele)

(From Richard Thompson on 17 February, 2018)

Shabbir Mohammed,

Firstly, let me make it clear that prior to these chain of emails, I’ve never spoken to you, seen you, or was aware of your existence. So for you to address me in the manner of your last email was nothing short of disrespectful; in fact, it was the most disrespectful email I have ever read. What gives you the authority to address me or any athlete in the tone that you just did is beyond me.

If your response is reflective of the Ministry’s attitude to someone that is a three-time Olympic medallist and National awardee, I shudder to think of how my upcoming and lesser accoladed athletes are treated. My correspondence with you has been respectful and professional, and I am appalled to receive such condescension from a ministry official with whom I’ve never interacted.

Your approach seems to be strictly combative and one of no compromise. “If you’re dissatisfied with what I’ve said I’ll assign your case to another officer”? Is it that you do not possess the competence to handle matters that present a bit of sorting through, or is it that you’re simply arrogant?

Your way or the highway is all I got from your last message. If the director and the minister has sanctioned your email, it leaves a lot to be desired about the manner in which they too treat people.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago sprinters (from left) Richard Thompson, Emmanuel Callender and Rondel Sorrillo watch the electronic scoreboard after their disqualification from the 4×100-metre event during the Rio 2106 Olympic Games.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

To utter the words that “you are the one that needs funding and not the Minister” speaks volumes about the mentality and abuse of power that the Ministry seems to believe they hold over the athletes. Let me remind you that WE are the reason you work in that office, so don’t for a second think that you are more high and mighty than those of us that work tirelessly for the Red, White and Black.

The fact that you assume the position to handle matters of national athletes, yet remain completely clueless about basic requirements, places a magnifying glass on why there are complications along the communication channel. Here we are in 2018, with me submitting forms and receipts from 2017, and you are asking me about 2015.

Sir, we have cleared that hurdle, that period has passed. I did not receive funding in 2016 because I did not submit those receipts. Case closed. However, I HAVE submitted receipts of US$50,000 of MY money spent in 2017, with all forms, coach’s report and medical reports to go along with it. What is the issue now?

Mind you, the Minister’s advisor Garvin Warwick was the one that instructed me to submit the 2017 elite funding application, when I saw him in September in Fatima, because he claimed that they would soon be ready to be disbursed to us. I was sure that I had been blacklisted for previously exercising my right to speak on matters that I saw as an injustice to athletes, and as such was prepared to not submit forms.

Photo: Former NBFTT president Garvin Warwick (far left) is the current advisor to Sport Minister Darryl Smith.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

After seeing Mr Warwick, I felt assured that there would be no issue. Another broken promise of his.

For you to suggest that I am “not elite” because of an injury sustained representing T&T is not only unreasonable, it shows your lack of knowledge for professional athletics.

It is my responsibility to submit my information to the NAAA and the TTOC before it makes its way to your desk. THEY are the ones that determine/advise whether elite or medical assistance is requested for the athlete from the Ministry based on what I’ve provided.

I applaud them for acknowledging that injury is part of sport, unfortunately, it seems that you or the Ministry do not possess the common sense to comprehend that uncomplicated fact.

I have just undergone hip surgery, which I paid for. Last year I called and messaged both the minister and Mr Warwick about a pressing issue that needed to be addressed, to which I got no response. My sister had to personally make a surprise visit to the office to get a hold of them.

Of course, the minister was too busy to speak to her. Mr Warwick was presented with medical documents that showed a US$40,000 operation was necessary, and any assistance at all would be greatly appreciated, seeing that there was no clue as to when I would actually receive elite funding.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Sport Minister Darryl Smith (left) has a laugh with NAAA president Ephraim Serrette at the 2016 NAAA Open Championships at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain on 25 June, 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

He assured her that he would work on it and get back to her in a timely manner. Another broken promise. It is only after I’ve had my surgery, that he forwards us to you, someone who, from the content of your emails, doesn’t seem to understand the basic rudiments of professional athletics.

I am not unreasonable. I am well aware of the financial constraints of the country in current times.

If the Ministry does not classify me as a priority and cannot assist because of this reason, or simply prefers to invest in another young and upcoming athlete, that’s understandable; but be honest and say that to me. Don’t continuously give me the run around as though you want to help when you have no intention of doing so.

It appears that as long as Darryl Smith is the Minister of Sport, athletes will continue to be treated with disdain. I have no intention of being beholden to the Ministry or its minions. I have represented T&T honorably for over a decade and will find a way to continue to do so, despite these attempts by people who, in fact, have ill intentions for my career.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago track star Richard Thompson (left) poses with President Anthony Carmona at a ceremony in The Anchorage, Carenage on 29 June, 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

I grieve knowing that many of my fellow athletes solely depend on you for their success, and have to be treated as though they are at your feet with a begging bowl. I grieve when I open the newspaper and read that members of the Golden World Championship 4x400m team, can’t pay their credit card debts from money spent on preparation that won T&T a gold medal in London 2017.

It seems as though elite or not, paperwork or not, receipts or not, the end result is the same… a contemptuous disregard for the needs of our athletes by Ministry officials.

Yet results are expected, and should they be miraculously achieved, guess who are front and center for the resume padding photo ops?

I pray for my fellow athletes, because as long as they continue to live a “cap in hand” existence, there is little hope for them to achieve their true global potential.

Richard Thompson

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago’s London Olympics 4×100-metre relay team of (from left) Richard Thompson, Emmanuel Callender, Marc Burns and Keston Bledman poses with Sport Minister Darryl Smith (centre) in a ceremony at The Anchorage, Carenage on 29 June, 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

Editor’s Note: Sport Ministry official Shabbir Mohammed responded to Trinidad and Tobago track star Richard Thompson on Friday 23 February.

The email, which Mohammed copied to 94 other persons—mostly other athletes—read: 

“Dear Mr Thompson,

Why would I choose to disrespect you?

S Mohammed”

About Lasana 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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300 comments

  1. Dunno. He’s most likely trying to do some positive PR for the Ministry.

  2. How did he get that from the ministry’s release? ?

  3. Is there really anybody surprised that the call ended immediately after the question was out? I am not. Did Minister Darryl Smith ever respond seriously and truthful to seriously asked questions? And if he responds to serious questions, did he not always refer the questioner to any other department or person in the ministry or somewhere else? Should he not have given a statement already immediately after Richard`s topic came up? Was Kelly´s interview not another reason from him to involve himself? What else is needed that he take his position serious and fulfills his obligations as responsible Minister?
    I am seriously interested to see a reporter or journalist to follow this topic for a serious, qualified and truthful statement from Minister Darrry Smith. Or will he again come out of a situation without being questioned again and pressed for a statement, as happened to so many times already for any other topics and matters.

  4. I understand Richard’s plight. Reading this I also see as is per usual the unprofessionalism of a Ministry staff member who is not held accountable for their actions and has been allowed to do as they please with little or no input from their supervisor and/or Director. So I ask when will we hold the Ministry staff and the one with the responsibility for them, director then PS to account? At times it can be the Minister’s fault, however the Minister cannot hire, fire and instruct any staff member to issue payment unless it is done from his personal vote. So why do we continue to ignore and allow the public servants with their own agendas to misbehave and get away with no punishment or reprimand.

  5. Can an injured athlete with no world ranking be considered Elite……wow….wow…..wow.

  6. Sadly Richard isn’t the only athlete who stopped receiving elite funding due to injury. The same thing happened to Marc Burns. I think the last time he received the funding was in 2012 or even before..simply because he was injured reppin T&T. It’s really crazy

  7. Shabbir is clearly extremely lacking in the art of communication and that is an important skill to have in the service industry.

  8. More disrespect compounded with blatant arrogance… that’s what that is. Pure unadulterated arrogance!

  9. Sometimes we judge a situation without all the information. A couple of emails may not be all the information in this matter. Yet… we all have very strong opinions on Shabbir’s work ethics. I wonder if we took time to think about what will happen to Shabbir. Do we care that Shabbir may lose his job? Is that what we want? Is that what he deserve for questioning the 3 times Olympian and national awardee?

  10. Maybe he was trying to do his job and made a mistake by asking Richard about his qualification as an elite athlete. Maybe what Richard really needed was medical funding, which is a different request.

  11. Yep. Guess that is all he thought the matter was worth. Or whoever is advising him…

  12. This S Mohammed needs some office training not even an OJT would behave in such a manner. Are you sure this is a real public servant .

  13. Seriously!!! Not “Dear Mr. Thompson no disrepect was intended….” and we know it was intended because of the underlying nuance of the words and phrases used…. he not even trying to coat it….? Obviously he feels he has some immunity to being reprimanded… ?

  14. Trevor Cooper youre are an idiot plain and simple. If you can comprehend what you read you will understand what i am saying. I didnt chose a side to the argument i am simply stating how to approach situations like this. After the exchange did Mr Thompson get funding……..no! Is the public servant still employed getting his salary this month end…….yes. Mr Thompson is right to seek funding after representing our nation but get all your things organise bring proof that you have in fact done so then make a huge stink about it. Customer service is piss poor in this part of the world and he has lived here most of his life to know that. There is no way he is gonna get a positive response now and this is advice to all athletes…..put all your facts of good treatment and bad treatment in documented form because you never know the day when it will be useful when you come to the public to show any incompetence you face dealing with any ministry in this country. He was disrespected but on his end he went about this the wrong way

  15. Editor’s Note: Sport Ministry official Shabbir Mohammed responded to Trinidad and Tobago track star Richard Thompson on Friday 23 February.
    The email, which Mohammed copied to 94 other persons—mostly other athletes—read:
    “Dear Mr Thompson,
    Why would I choose to disrespect you?
    S Mohammed”

  16. When will we become a nation of processes and LAWS ? Until then we will remain a banana republic. Time to put personalities aside.

  17. Discipline production and tolerance. Our keys to individual and collective success

  18. Sport funding in Trinidad is concentrated on football which produces one world class athlete every 40 years whereas track and field which produces a continuous stream of world beaters is treated like a bastard child. Why???

  19. Put the right people in charge and they will make a difference!

  20. Richard ,you are strong and stood up not only for yourself but also for your fellow athletes.These want you to crawl, pander and beg them after you have done so much for our country.Your reply to him was still respectful and professional .
    God’s blessing to you my brother.

  21. Correct is right. That’s insulting! Said in Basdeo Panday fashion?

  22. Yup… Demand respect at all times, especially when you have treated everyone, at all times, with respect.

  23. Bravo!!! I have a renewed respect for Richard Thompson. A great athlete and also a man of words. So sad, this little post-colonial piece of land we call home.

  24. That is a great response by Richard. The Ministry do not provide the necessary requirements for us as a country to produce top level athletes yet they are always on the bandwagon when our athletes accomplish outstanding performances because of their own determination, dedication and money.

  25. He does a lot of talking in front of cameras,but no action…FACTS…

  26. Collectively, much can be achieved.
    Wonder how much support he will gain from fellow athletes? Our culture is we like to benefit from the struggles of others, not to support a struggle or to risk anything.

  27. Trinidad and Tobago treats it’s athletes disdainfully. Only if they achieve something, then the media and the government are all over it. Before that, there is no support for all the hard work. Yes, even the media is to blame – look at the present situation. Which part of T&T knew that we are represented by 2 people in the Pyongchang 2018 Winter Olympics? I guess because it’s so far, they probably did not train in Trinidad, and T&T doesn’t care for winter that the media didn’t even spend 1 minute on it.

  28. Yes I saw it…. I thought I had already posted it.
    In my opinion he provided all relevant documents. More documents than some athletes who receive funding. But because he is blacklisted they are giving him the ‘gears’
    Kudos to NAAA for supporting him at this time.
    People have to remember that he was injured while training or competiting for the National team. He didn’t fall down on a boat cruise or pulled a hamstring at the Magdalena Hotel while cuddling up a outside woman.
    Good move NAAA.

  29. We are highlighting here the treatment meted out to one of our national heroes by the Government, can you imagine the type of treatment our average citizens face, on a daily basis by said government officials. (Especially our senior citizens )

  30. Wow,,,,the Arrogance of these two in the auspicious Ministry of Sport…..minister and his minion. Disrespectful and unacceptable. No appreciation. Richard did the right thing. Expose their nonsense and make this viral.

  31. I am in shock. Although, I really shouldn’t be.

  32. wow. No wonder our Sports men and women are not reaching their true potential in most sporting disciplines. Serious square pegs in wrong Holes . It is in all ministries that we have great problems with services in every level. So job well done let us wait and see what is the Ministry next step in helping him .

  33. Lasana Liburd Common courtesy is lacking all around. Just saying thank you is a chore from top to bottom..

  34. Teeheehee ? was Barrel intentional? ??

  35. Glad Richard has the courage to address this head on and without manipulation, fearlessly speaking the truth, and bravely allowing transparency of how tax paid dollars are not reaching the intended recipient.

  36. This is why Jehue Gordon have a perfume line

  37. Somebody flew pass their nest…is time the athletes be treated with dignity and respect…the powers that be act like a bunch of bandwagonist

  38. the only time our athletes performed well was when the gortt supported them. that wouĺd have been the london olympics. we had atletes in many semis and some finals. im sry but this govt has failed the athletes.

  39. Quick question anyone, how was Mr Walcott horned for his bronze medal in the last Olympic?

  40. I wonder how she would feel if she was injured at work and had to spend her own money on surgery and recovery and after being told she would be compensated it turned out to be false. Then when advised to apply for compensation through other means that she didn’t know she qualified for she was told well.. are you a top employee? You’ve been out of the office for several months and your efficiency rating is below par so I don’t think we should approve your application.. why don’t you ignore your doctor’s orders and come in to see us so that we can evaluate your case face to face

  41. Sherlan Cabralis your comments in this thread show exactly what is wrong with how we treat our athletes in T&T. He clearly states that he did not intend to apply for elite funding because he did not believe he would qualify but it was after he was given a recommendation to do so by those knowledgeable about the process and its requirements that he applied. There is nothing wrong with asking a three time Olympic medalist a question… but when you proceed to be condescending with your words it becomes unnecessary. You and others argue that he his past his prime and has nothing left in him so he should just make do with what he has. I’m sure you didn’t even know who he was before he won anything but celebrated all the same when he did and now you want to take him out to the field and shoot him like a horse with a broken foot. There are still meets to run and exposure for our country to get from his performances. How about you let him work hard on getting healthy so that he can make us proud again and you take your negativity somewhere that it is warranted

  42. If it’s true then this very disappointing behavior by MSYA.

  43. I can never understand how any administrator feels he is bigger than the player. The player is the sum total of all of our efforts to get him/her to the tip of the sword in whatever our sporting endeavors. The player in turn must also acknowledge that s/he isn’t bigger than the sport and our collective. The athlete is the star of the show, not the administrator. The error that this arrogant administrator makes is what also leads arrogant coaches that are unable/unwilling to adapt to discard or not select clearly talented players whose career windows in top form are fleeting and limited(Gullit, Redondo, and Tevez come to mind. Carl Hooper is the exception bleh). It(and greed) is also what makes FIFA feel it can shut out state involvement in local FA’s that it doesn’t approve of regardless of the altruistic (or no) nature of the intrusion. The less said about the WIBC and big idiot, the better. One word. Secede. For what it’s worth, and I know he had his challenges in the last administration, Omar Khan seemed to get it right. Indeed we had a very successful period with him in charge. I always got the impression that if he had to, he himself would run onto the pitch to carry water for the players. Administrators know your place!

  44. Exactly, Lasana. He sounds exactly like the professional bureaucrats we come across in virtually every state entity.

  45. Ancil, Richard never denied that he didn’t fill out the paperwork. I think you’re focusing on that but he was upset at Shabbir’s tone. Not so much the funding issue, which would probably be made above Shabbir’s pay grade anyway.
    So you and Richard were just looking at different things.

  46. I am not saying accept it i am saying put all your ducks in a row then make it public. Remember this particular public servant is saying that he didnt submit all his documents and also insinuate that his claims could be bogus. So the thing to do is make you have proof that you indeed made the submission then when you get nothing as expect expose them. After all,all we have are some disrespectful emails to go by.

  47. I agree Lasana, that was the part that stood out to me as well. His behaviour was unprovoked, and as a public servant particularly disrespectful. Simply guide Richard through the procedure. Treat him with respect, even if you can not approve his application, I can not understand how that was not done.

    But the hostility? To treat people like they begging? No justification for that.

  48. Ancil why should any of us have to put up with rude public servants? The word ‘serve’ should be a clue. I don’t think the issue is about the funding. He felt he was being given the runaround and then being spoken down to at the same time.
    That’s the impression I got here.

  49. But also however the email read Mr Thompson could have taken it up on himself to resubmit all that was asked for then complain when he didnt get the funding. Bring to us the public all the evidence that what was requested was indeed submitted then from there we definitely would have known that there was never any intent to assist. This is standard procedure dealing with TnT public servants they are rude and disrespectful most of the time but Mr Thompson should be wise enough to know thats how they are and to make sure he does everything to the letter before he starts and argument with ppl who from what we see here have very little intention to help.

  50. Richard isn’t world class any more if there is a turnaround in his porfamance no problem but for now I say if he qualify then so to mark berns …

  51. That man should have been fired since the Tobago affair but the head seems to be guided by ignorance

  52. I suggest Dr Rowley get involved to resolve this issue.Compromise on both sides is best.

  53. What is shabir background in sports?

  54. Shawn Charles, we not only had story almost a day earlier but have all four emails as opposed to just the one in the Express. Doh do we dat. Lol

  55. Stupzzzz Richard please face the fact you done

  56. Thank god richard Thompson had his money to pay for his surgery….. imagine if he didn’t up to this day this poor man would be lying on a hospital bed in pain awaiting surgery in a public hospital…. this man represented us our country…. shame

  57. I got that immediately. But my question is why did it go there so quickly?? I saw nothing in Richard Thompson’s response to warrant this at all. Quite baffling in addition to unprofessional and disrespectful.

  58. Lasana Liburd and JC-L Thank you. Your analysis of this issue is on point and well appreciated. Hope that your statements bring clarification to those who perhaps misunderstood this entire scenario. Kudos to you both.

  59. I saw red when that line came up. Absolutely disgusting behaviour

  60. Sherlan, Shabbir was unprofessional. It would have been unprofessional no matter who he was talking to.

  61. He asked a question… Richard just needed to provide the info to be processed. How dear Shabbir asked the 3 times medal Olympian and National Awardee a question (as stated by Richard Thompson). Hopefully, Shabbir will know his place next time.

  62. Bonnie, Shabbir doesn’t have stuff as far as I know eh. So who is he to “pass the case to someone else”?!
    I won’t pin all the issues of the ministry of sport on shabbir’s shoulders but he was out of place and probably reflects the culture there and in many ministries.
    The whole “onus is on you” bit might be true but it is also a touch insensitive.

  63. I dunno Orin Gordon, the man called into question his elite status, which was unnecessary. He then employed that very Trini of brush offs: if you’re not happy then I’ll pass your case onto someone else i.e. ‘I cyar deal with your shite even tho that’s mih wuk, so you’ll just have to start over with somebody else’. He was a bit petty in his email.

  64. I thought no one got that. Pure passive aggressiveness

  65. The elite funding is so badly drawn up. I’ll give you example. Our best medal chance is relays But wording of elite funding means only one or at most two relay members get funding and other two or three must fend for themselves. Obviously ridiculous.
    In any case Sherlan, I think if Shabbir has issue with athlete nominated by NAAA and TTOC, it is obvious who he should take that up with. And it isn’t Thompson.

  66. The man is a proven Olympian…treat him like one..

  67. The athlete had no ranking for 2017 because of injury. His last World ranking (2016) he was 45th, .01 seconds behind 36 (9 tied at 36). Also, he was part of a relay team ranked 8th in the world. Now tell me the reason the Administrator questions this athlete’s qualifications to receive elite funding when he was recommended by 2 bodies that govern his sport? Come nah, yuh better than dat!

  68. Mind you, elite funding is for International standards of 40th in the world of high for whatever discipline.

  69. If an athlete has an injury which was a result of representing his country and that injury is such that prevents him from participating in a certain season to obtain world ranking for that season, is it fair for a sports body to deny that athlete funding for the next season?

  70. Medical funding is another request

  71. How did he get the hip injury again?

  72. I putting myself out… But… how many times in our beautiful and fair country people have been recommended for positions or assistance and they are not qualify? The rep ask a question, which has a straight forward answer as far as I am concern. The same NSOs we always questioning, has recommended an athlete who has no world ranking, which is required, and a hip injury for elite funding. Should Shabbir be a little more sensitive… maybe.

  73. what i want to know that all of youll who commenting was there

  74. Most of you guys are full of shit, you are not above the law. Follow the rules and don’t blame the dam minister for an officer doing their work

  75. Lasana Liburd and JL-C. THANK YOU. I fully share these exact sentiments. Your responses clearly depict the true real live picture of this entire scenario. Hope that the persons with unrealistic views will STOP, THINK AND UNDERSTAND.

  76. I’m not in agreement with the response of the ministry of Sports, but some of those guys are professional with the exception of Kadifa Kelly Mitchelle Cleo Jarreem The 4 x400 team kadeem Lewis and Keshorthe rest of them are no longer elite athletes and they must understand that, emphasis now have to be on the next batch of talent

  77. To- ‘Jumbie’ and ‘Earl Best’, your analytical and reading skills are somewhat distorted” Are you really QRC graduates or ‘scholars’? Why you cannot comprehed? Please Take time and read ‘Observer’ response, I hope you will understand this entire scenario. A blind man can see’, a deaf man can hear and a dumb person can speak of this as a reaction to an insulting, ignorant action. This is not an ‘I’ athletissue this is a ‘We’ athletes issues which remain unattended and unanswered far too long. Where is the Minister in all this? He is ‘hush hush and mum’ on the subject operating without any limbs and in a selfish robot like manner. No money but construction of a sports complex in His constituency?

    I say and give Kudos to a well written, educated, intellectually aware, informative, masterful response by Richard Thompson to the Ministry Officer and thank you for enlightening the public. This Ministry Officer is unaware of his job description and unknowledgeable of his job functions. His unprofessional attitude and inappropriate behaviour may have worked well in the past regime but certainly would not happen under this one. There is zero tolerance this time around. Is it that * there are square pegs in round holes *the Officer may not have earned his position* maybe, he was placed in the position? His wanting to remove himself from handling this matter and to quickly pass it on to someone else paints an ugly picture which loudly speaks for itself. He has clearly demonstrated his incapability to complete the task at hand. He appears to be very clueless and don’t know his job. He can’t event add the dots between the Organizations which referred, made their recommendation and gave their approval. Is is that the capabilities of these Organizations or the lack of are questioned by this Officer? It can be assumed from his actions he is alleging that they are not ‘fit and proper’. PLEASE let’s address the athletes concerns in a professional and proper manner with the aim of bringing to an amicable conclusion.

  78. Exactly Lasana Liburd.. does he understand what it takes to train in the US… does he understand the financial constraints an athlete has to go through to reach the status that Richard has attained.
    The athlete has provided more information that is normally required to get funding plus he has the recommendations of the two governing bodies.
    This is a minute example of what athletes here have to deal with. At least Richard received dialogue…most of the time athletes and coaches don’t but I expect that this was an attempt to belittle the athlete for speaking out. Sad….but it goes on regardless…

  79. I met and interviewed Tommo in Beijing in ’08. You won’t meet a nicer, more unpretentious guy. Clearly the email made him see red.

  80. Seems like the minister in the only athlete here because I heard that is good at chasing after woman.

  81. I think Thompson was snarky. But then I also think he felt he was responding to an insult.

  82. Boom! But, it seems there is a way with sports administrators in Trini who seem to be a power onto themselves. Athletes must shut up and play – in RT’s case, go away.(smh)

  83. You sat up straight. I saw red.

  84. Mohammed is no wordsmith, that’s for sure. But my reading of it is that he was being a by-the-book factotum, not employing a whole heap of flexibility or sensitivity, and did not intentionally set out to cause offence. That said, offence does not have to be intentional for the recipient of it to be offended. I don’t think that Thompson come out of it that well either.

    The culprit is email, and how it limits clear communication. About 2% of people can use it properly.

  85. If I were to pinpoint the exact point where Shabbir Mohammed slipped into dangerous waters and would have made me see red as a national athlete, it would be here:
    “Your report says that you may be able to fully train in March 2018 and another says that there is no world ranking for 2017.
    “Can an injured athlete who has no world ranking be elite?
    “Nevertheless…”
    In my opinion, that was unprofessional and disrespectful for several reasons. First, it was the NAAA and/or TTOC who applied for Thompson to have elite athlete status. Thompson didn’t apply for himself.
    If Shabbir–in his apparently substantial knowledge of top class athletics and/or knowledge of elite athlete procedure–felt that Thompson did not qualify, he should have taken that up with the NAAA and/or TTOC.
    Second, the way that line was dropped could be interpreted as a reducer aimed squarely at Thompson. Again, totally unacceptable.
    And, lastly, if Shabbir is suggesting that Thompson isn’t an elite athlete in his eyes, then why “nevertheless” proceed to invite him to fill out all the paperwork the Ministry requires?
    Is he asking Thompson to feel free to waste his time?
    In all the emails from Shabbir, this is the one bit that really made me sit up straight.

  86. Lasana Liburd

    If I were to pinpoint the exact point where Shabbir Mohammed slipped into dangerous waters and would have made me see red as a national athlete, it would be here:
    “Your report says that you may be able to fully train in March 2018 and another says that there is no world ranking for 2017.
    “Can an injured athlete who has no world ranking be elite?
    “Nevertheless…”
    In my opinion, that was unprofessional and disrespectful for several reasons. First, it was the NAAA and/or TTOC who applied for Thompson to have elite athlete status. Thompson didn’t apply for himself.
    If Shabbir–in his apparently substantial knowledge of top class athletics and/or knowledge of elite athlete procedure–felt that Thompson did not qualify, he should have taken that up with the NAAA and/or TTOC.
    Second, the way that line was dropped could be interpreted as a reducer aimed squarely at Thompson. Again, totally unacceptable.
    And, lastly, if Shabbir is suggesting that Thompson isn’t an elite athlete in his eyes, then why “nevertheless” proceed to invite him to fill out all the paperwork the Ministry requires?
    Is he asking Thompson to feel free to waste his time?
    In all the emails from Shabbir, this is the one bit that really made me sit up straight.

    • I totally agree with your points made Lasana!

      This is included in why I said , SMohammed drew first blood.

    • I’m not a sports fan, neither do I follow sports, therefore the question to me seems a fair one. If I hadn’t read the comments here and gotten a gist of the funding requirements, it’s a valid question I might have asked.

      You being a sports reporter, seem to be in the know.

      You may refute by saying that Mohammed knows because he works for the sports ministry, which might seem logical, but remember he is a public servant following rules laid out for him.

      I’m not defending him, I see your point, but not everyone is an expert.

      • Lasana Liburd

        Well, if the NAAA sent an application to the Sport Ministry for elite funding on behalf of Richard Thompson and an official from the Sport Ministry has questions about that application… He should know who he has take that up with.
        I won’t demonise Shabbir either. But I think he was wrong.

  87. Dat is y wen our athletes want 2 leave n represent other countries…..

  88. Wait, first of all, am I one of the only ones to see that, RThompson’s response to SMohammed’s first email was a genuine query, in no way aggressive, just asking SMohammed to inform of missing docs and to let it be known that due to his current rehabilitation, he physically would not be able to attend a meet, however, his representatives will?

    Secondly, how many of you have taken the time to re-read SMohammed’s response (2nd email to RThompson, the 3rd in the thread)? Can you not see the contentious construct? If in review of the athlete’s file, an observation of missing documents has been made from a previous submission, who knows why – could be for mos-filing, lost files, I shudder to think fraud because that would place EVERYBODY in the WRONG light – but couldn’t SMohammed point that out noting that because this paperwork is outstanding, it must be rectified before new a new case can be opened, in a MORE CIVIL MANNER.?
    Where was the need to question the athlete’s status as an “elite athlete”? Why point out that submissions were made on “a sheet of copy paper”? WHY ATTACK THIS MAN’S CREDIBILITY? Then close off the email by letting the man know that if he didn’t like the his business is being handled, he could deal with someone else?

    People fail to realize that emails could be very misleading in intent. SMohammed May have thought that s/he was being professional, but the choice of words were cutting and biting, and yes argumentative, because it whiffed of character assassination, which, of course, lead RThompson to defend himself and yes, while at it, bring into the public so that there’s no shooshooing and hesayshesay about the matter.

    He’s quite right about wondering about “up and coming less-accolades athletes” who may not have the wherewithal to manoeuver the political landscape of bobolery that exists with no accountability in TT. It is any wonder that people do claim this country internationally, because of the lack of vision displayed by those in power.

    But in this case SMohammed DREW FIRST BLOOD!

  89. Richard we the people are in solidarity with you. This is unacceptable.

  90. Richard forget Trinidad run for the US or Europe. To much pressure for small money.

  91. Every National Athlete going through something with these people. Oh gosh I never so tired of hearing our ambassadors going through stress. Richard being one of our top listed what in the world wrong with Barney and friends sssstttttttteeeeeeeuuuuupppppppssssss

  92. Reading this breaks my heart…

  93. With money and status, yuh could take dem outta d gutter but yuh could never get d gutter outta Dem ……NO Class!!!

  94. I am the last person to play “the card’ but I so wanted to “knee-jerk” this and wonder if he would have talked to — leh we say — an Indian cricketer in this manner? Then I said to myself, yuh know he probably would have!

    Something about his responses seem worthy of a good hard clout…I can’t explain why.

  95. It is a two way stream I suppose.

  96. I am disgusted!
    The minister although he has no shame should be ashamed.
    Thompson is more of a man than you Darryl Smith. You are a bumbling failure as is your ministry and your government. Opportunist and self serving. Thank you Mr Thompson for opening our eyes. You are a true champion and these so called ‘men’ can never reach or ever hope to attain your stature and character. I wish you a speedy recovery.

  97. There is no way this can be justified. What nonsense did I just read????

  98. So you come cap in hand begging but you dont want to be humble and do all you have to. Too many times we allow politics to cloud our impartiality. No can it be so easy to get funding if youre not even guaranteed to take the track in 2018. Yes you have been injured but thats no excuse not to submit or re-submit all necessary information requested. Do your part and when all else fails then make noise.

    • True Ancil and when last he win or place in a race

    • This the thing he not even sure he will actually run one this year

    • Ancil LeRoy James and Harrynath Maharaj you both lack any knowledge of sport or what is or have been going on. Check the facts before you run your mouth. #mostdisrespectpersons

    • TonyCelestine its clear u really dont understand what i wrote! Simplify for ur understanding. All Mr Thompson has to do is resubmit his documentation for his claims point out that he previously did it so if there is no disbursement of funds then make all the noise in the world. You cant be asking for taxpayers money and be angry u dont get it. Simple

    • This is the kind of attitude that keeps our athletes and athletics programmes from achieving at the same level of countries like Jamaica and the U.S. We have a piss poor understanding of what it means to support our athletes and provide proper infrastructure for their training and development. It is a wonder we have ever won a medal in any sporting arena on the world stage and solely due to the patriotism and commitment of the athletes. This man has represented our nation on the world stage more than once and performed well enough with little to no financial support from the country b/c believe me, 50k USD is NO MONEY when it comes to training in athletics. So, NO, he is not begging cap in hand…he is asking for his just due for money ALREADY SPENT! And, he is absolutely right in asserting that there would be absolutely NO NEED for a Ministry of Sport sans world class athletes to represent us. Based on some of these responses, we don’t deserve the hard work, money and energy they pour into their sports in order to represent us well on the world stage…UGH! How is it possible that you folks are so incredibly ignorant to how world sports and related country support of their athletes works?

    • Nobody said he doesn’t deserve the funding. Its simple comply then complain. As a matter of fact the US government dont fund it athletes, the US athlete is funded by sponsorship deals. Yes he has represented us and has won medals but that dosent exclude him from submitting all he has been ask to submit. Submit it once more then complain if its not given. I would have been more supportive of his stance if he had produce evidence of him submitting all that was ask for before he allowed the entire exchange to go public.

    • Ancil LeRoy James I’m wondering if you actually read and understood the entirety of the discourse in the emails.

    • It,s not about deserving payment. He actually had fore gone on two years of funding knowing the economic situation the country is facing. the documentation for the period of funding was given as clearly stated by the Ministry official. It is the way this individual responds to his request that is being questioned. As a seasoned athlete I believe he would know and practice the due diligence for funding.

    • Yes, I am well aware that the US Olympic Committee has a system whereby corporate citizens and everyday American citizens (via the TEAM USA fund) can support the athletes and their training and development. My bigger point was that there is national network of support that provides them the necessary funding without accusing athletes of begging/coming “cap in hand” when seeking to recoup funds spent to aid their ability to represent the nation. In the US, it is privatized, but in T&T, it is a task the public sector has taken on so why are employees of the ministry acting like they are doing him a favour by attending to the request for funding…that is their job! It seems from his emails, that he is not requesting reimbursement for funds spent in 2015, but funds spent in 2017 and the ministry employee states that NO FUNDS WERE DISPERSED at that time (2015) due to lack of complete paperwork and bills outstanding and the like. If his paperwork was incomplete at that time and no funds were paid out to him at that time as a result, why is the ministry demanding he resubmit old bills and documentation that have nothing to do with his current application and the time period it serves? The email from the ministry as printed here says “You have signed an agreement dated June 10th 2015 to provide documents that include providing a financial statement/ per tranche supported by bills; Your application for the 2016 season was incomplete; There was no medical report; No training schedule; No coach’s report; No financial statement supported by bills; You did prepare a budget drawn up in a table by pen on an 81/2” x 11” sheet of copy paper; As such you did not fill out the Quarterly Financial Statement form for 2015-2016 that required signatures and stamps of you, the TTOC and the NAAATT; E-mail was sent by Ms Emile to you on 17/03/2016 to let you know what was missing and the attached form to fill out. Due to outstanding documents, no payments would have been made.” If no bills and reports were provided and no payments were made, case closed for that period…he is not seeking money for it so deal with the request you are charged with NOW.

  99. Kudos to you Richard for standing up for yourself! I will be following this story!

    • These issues runs much deeper… it stems from a blatant disregard for what is percieved to be professions of a non accademic nature…. if you are an athlete, CIP, or any profession deemed of no importance you will be treated as interllectually inferior….

    • It also extends to those pursuing academics as well. Have you ever heard the plight of those on scholarship? This is a problem mainly of disrespect and power.

  100. Mohammed…a blatant reflection of the Minister of Sports…based on the many complaints by our esteemed sportsmen and women it showcases that this Ministry is dormant…so sad indeed! Rigid audit needed!!!??

  101. Interesting that’s these comments fluctuate beeen placing blame with some saying the public servant is doing their job and others saying the athlete is a “brat”. My humble question is who knows what the process intails and from the looks of things there is responsibly to be had on both parties.
    1. 2015-2017 is 2-3years of funding. Even if it is now being reconciled and documentation is outstanding isn’t there a procedure to contact the relevant parties. Meaning if money would have been allocated during that fiscal to be appropriated for a specific area and not used could it affect the Ministry’s end of year reporting and potential allocations for the next year?
    2. Ministry need to do better in its administration of athletes, national federations and governing bodies. Money is allocated to Sport for the administration of Sport and if that’s not being done then where is the accountability.
    3. As the athlete proper filing needs to be done. There is a process to follow. If the documentation requires you to attach tecipts, invoices, bill make sure it is done and take scanned copies of the submitted documentation and the officer receiving these documents to safe guard yourself.
    It’s unfortunate that despite the athlete not being up to date the disdain in which the public official displayed as while reference is made to submission of documentation at no time was a gesture of made in trying to resolve the matter but took to the offensive. To make the statement it the the onus of the athlete to account for the funding they recieve is erroneous as it is the onus of the Ministry to ensure that these things happen in a timely manner.

    For too long we sit and play the blame game. As concerned citizens lets start rationally analyzing what happens in our own governance and start demanding more professionalism from both our state officers and our national representatives

    • Having carefully read the emails again, I can definitely assess that Mohammed was in NO WAY rude or disrespectful in asking for the documentation that is missing. He was factual, brief and coherent, all the marks of a good communicator. Trinidadians, I have found, are often verbose and expect their egos to be stroked at every opportunity. The English too for that matter – if you are terse and to the point in England, you can be considered as ‘aggressive’.

      The communication descended into poor behaviour by Thompson when he said:

      “Firstly, let me make it clear that prior to these chain of emails, I’ve never spoken to you, seen you, or was aware of your existence. So for you to address me in the manner of your last email was nothing short of disrespectful; in fact, it was the most disrespectful email I have ever read. What gives you the authority to address me or any athlete in the tone that you just did is beyond me.”

      That is the entitlement syndrome popping its head out of the hole, like a groundhog. Then he goes to show why he feels entitled:

      “If your response is reflective of the Ministry’s attitude to someone that is a three-time Olympic medallist and National awardee, I shudder to think of how my upcoming and lesser accoladed athletes are treated. ”

      The rest of the email is a long diatribe on how the Ministry treats athletes which has NO bearing on the matter at hand, which – to reiterate again – is about his missing documents and incomplete forms. but also interspersed with ad hominem attacks on Mohammed.

      But I guess most emotional Trinis will not see this because of tribal thinking – think I didn’t notice the significance of the two names in question?

  102. Folks just like you are entitled to your opinion, I am entitled to mine. Never once in my opinion di I accuse Brian or Lasana ofany ulterior motive.

  103. Athletes will never be respected nor accommodated by the Ministerial authorities of this country. The ONLY time they’re given recognition and fanfare are when they’ve reached international status or have won a medal. Before and thereafter, they are forgotten. Recently there was an article of a 27 year old footballer from Arima BEGGING for $30,000 to have ligament surgery….this same footballer would’ve represented this country in Under 15, Under 16 and Under 21, even scoring a winning goal. But athletes have to face square pegs in round holes who lack the competence to seek the interes of these athletes and thereby the country

  104. I am very impressed with the professional manner in which you responded….I too gleaned a sense of arrongance on the part of the Ministry’s representative & I too am also disappointed with the performance of the Minister of Sports to date….continue trusting in God and all weapons formed against you will perish….I am a great fan of all our National athletes who go out there and tirelessly represent

  105. Look at him? How can anyone expect this man to improve sports..did he ever represent TnT in anything??? God help us with this crop of ministers..

  106. Do these athletes think that because they represent the TnT that they will not follow process and procedure and then try to blackmail Politicians into giving financial support. It is time that the behave as elite athletes and higher professionals to manage their affairs with government bodies so that transparency and process can face any audit. Thompson should make sure and provide all details requested and was very rude in his email.

    • There’s a beautiful thing called grafting and corruption. Things get swept under the table. Don’t make such assumptions without knowing the details. Richard wasn’t rude in the slightest bit in his email. Federations screw athletes all the time.

    • His second reply is not only rude but arrogant and out of place. He ought to give respect to people in public office especially if he does not have any concrete proof of any form of bias, discrimination or fraud.

    • MOS employees need to be mindful that they exist because of athletes …not the other way around …I’m a former athlete and I can attest to such behavior from the MOS

    • Give respect? Richard has sacrificed and achieved so much for his country and his people with athletics. A person with his background and accolades deserves all the support he can get; not get disowned by his own Athletic Federation. They should be thankful to have an athlete of his caliber representing Trinidad.

    • Are you serious Mr. Ragbir.Read properly what bills they want when it is Mr.Thompson who spent HIS money.

    • Anyone representing T& T never receive the required funding for their sporting discipline…it is always partial after begging…that’s why some Trinis adopt other Countries.

  107. This is why we loose our athletes to foreign countries and then we want to bash them about patriotism. This is total bullshit. Go where the money is being provided

  108. Not surprised at all …this has been going on for decades..total fools in suits

  109. Same culture right across the GoRTT. Nothing unique to the Ministry of Sport.

  110. This is the athlete who has the best opening for any of our Olympians. .2 silvers..1 soon to be a gold..Ato/Crawford none had that kind of opening. As I asked him and his dad once “What these “authorities ” want from him/you …blood? “

  111. Minister of Sports continue to exhibit his incapable ways as usual. The response by his subordinates is a reflection of the Minister himself. Unfortunately we have to wait until 2020 for change, but in the mean time sports in Trinidad will continue to degenerate into further failure mode.

  112. Go Torpedo. Arrogance is the hallmark of some of those officers. Sad indeed.

  113. Since is 5am and to read this who is this person an employee of not Trinbago when would their contract be up for renewal can we relieve that non national of their duty or is just follow the leader. @barrelsmith #overweightlover

  114. Thompson comes across as being an entitled brat because he has some medals. The public servant, doing his job according to the rules and regulations to which he is subject to, has been ‘named and shamed’ so that Thompson could cover up his own ineptitude by not:

    1) Providing copies of missing paperwork,
    2) Attempting to strongarm his way to gaining funding by
    a) intimidation
    b) verbal abuse
    c) public chastisement of Mohammed

    The sense of entitlement hasn’t only struck the Minister but apparently everyone involved in Sports.

  115. There are so many negative reports about the way Darryl Smith opts to conduct the affairs of the Ministry of Sport , that I think it may be time that the PM takes a closer look and make the necessary adjustments. The citizens understand that these are trying economic times but our athletes , deserve their respect as ambassadors of this country. Whether they won a medal or not , they have represented the red , white , and black and for this we should be grateful and treat with them in a manner befitting their contributions.

    • Did u read the article…..this was an exchange between the athlete and a ministry official….not the minister himself…..yes he has been in the negative a lot but give jack he jacket nah!

    • I did read , but I’m saying that this isn’t an isolated incident. The Minister himself has not handled issues as professional as he is expected to at times. A leader is able to communicate his vision to those that serve with him , making them an extension of himself when he is absent. So the staff carry the vision of the leader . If there is a glitch in the matrix , his responsibility is to reinforce the ideals he hopes to have implemented.

    • So I’m not in disagreement to what you might be trying to say , but the Minister is having too many instances where persons are making him look bad.

    • Well it’s simple, just remove those who do not have the vision of the sport ministry in their hearts! There are those who are in it just for the ride!

  116. I wish there was reset button for TnT, a switch to just start over.

  117. Man, this is infuriating. I’m proud that Richard read them for filth but just saddened by how our best athletes are always mired in some mess because of sport officials’ incompetence and flat out callous disdain. I honestly have tuned out a bit because I’m beyond fed up with the state of sporting administration in this country. But it’s much easier for me to do that. This is what athletes have to face if they want to represent us? I don’t ever want to hear any complaints about any athlete ‘defecting’ or choosing to represent another country. As Richard rightly points out, if this is how they treat a respected 3-time Olympic medalist and veteran, how are the young athletes coming up who have less resources, connections and experience to fear? Totally disheartening and disgusting.

  118. This is very sad. Surely this did not have to reach to this. No way to treat our National Heroes. I hope they FIX this PR fiasco forthwith and NEVER HAVE THIS HAPPEN AGAIN.

  119. You are a patient man. I have rechristened you Job.

  120. Shakeel Francis and when athletes say they prefer to compete for another country everyone’s got something to say. But just look at this. Sighsss! Torpedo brought immeasurable success to TNT and look. Just imagine for a lesser national athlete.

  121. Clayton Clarke boy when will our athletes be respected , really sad

  122. No money, no love. Next time any of our athletes win something, and d gov want to parade….. hand up….. walk wid d cheque else u would be talking and hosting welcome party to welcome no 1. Dem want to squeeze athletes, well squeeze dem back. U represent the country…. not dem politicians who cant rub 2 sticks together unless dey gettinf greased financially or sexually

  123. What does Darryl Smith and I hope you mean Mr. Darryl Smith, the Minister of Sport out of respect for the office he holds has to do with this. The PS is the Accounting Officer of the Minister and he has to always to practice CYA for he is answerable not the Minister.

  124. These athletes don’t get the support that they need but as soon as they’re successful in representing the country, these hypocrites especially that joke for a minister, is the first to take credit for their achievements.

  125. Please tell me this is fake! I’m actually hoping so. The gentleman sole purpose it seems so the annoy Mr. Thompson.
    Ok even if RT did not submit all the necessary documents, be of service where you can show him his gaps.
    Also as noted – as most of us are aware – things are tight in T&T at the moment. Say it may be difficult based on current standing but we will at least make an effort. Be forthright.
    My apologies for requesting that last part. Welcome to T&T.

  126. Most of them never kick ah lime in dey life. I really don’t know if we’ll ever get it right.

  127. Stop taking pics with them. Mentality of Trinis. Sad

  128. this is sad,,

    Thompson is being wrong and strong, though ,,,

    If his paper work is not properly filled out , then the error is on his part …
    If all his documents were in order , then he’d have a grouse …

    I would have expected better from a QRC granduate …

    He needs to bring ALL of his paperwork up to date –
    This is no big deal ..
    He is the one making a mountain out of mole hill ..
    He is asking for “special treatement” , because he is “richard thompson ” ..

    AND I’m sure many idiots reading this are going to support him in his stupid childish tirade …

    • If you read his email you would understand what he has stated. But clearly you are not a QRC graduate so I do not expect you to!

      He isn’t asking for “special treatment” because of who he is. He is merely making the point of the injustice that is done to the athletes and speaking out where others may be apprehensive to do for fear of victimization from the Ministry officials.

      Go back and read his statement again as you’ve clearly missed his points. The issue is the disrespect of the email received from Shabir Mohammed more so than the Elite funding not being received…Read the email again I urge you and see where he acknowledges that he didn’t receive funding in 2016 due to not fulfilling the paperwork required! That case is closed!! Now that he has fulfilled his obligations to submit the necessary paperwork for this new period, then tell me why should we revert to what has gone as he paid the price by not receiving the funding for that period?!

      So before casting aspersions about idiots supporting his ‘stupid childish tirade’, you are urged to brush up on your comprehension skills as clearly you’ve not read and understood the contents of Mr Thompson’s email…

      • Earl Best

        Being a “QRC graduate” is the problem here, not the solution.

        Please, QRC graduate, open your mind like we were taught to do and re-read ALL the emails. Then have a look at the comments again and see if you see the light.

        My guess is that Royalian success has so far dazzled you here.
        Signed,
        An ultra-proud Royalian.

    • Not me… anyone who reads these emails and critically analyse them will see that Thompson is being aggressive without cause.

      • Ask yourself why he is being aggressive and trust me it is with cause! You clearly haven’t analysed the emails critically! To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction!

        • critical analysis of the emails seems to have passed you by… I see nowhere was Mohammed out of place. Your ‘QRC’ elite athlete was being a pig with bad manners.

      • I agree… he was being aggressive. Once you have to mentioned that you are a 3 times Olympian and national awardee in the conversation, you are trying to tell the person “know your place” I also noted that the email is dated Feb 17th… that means he answered and then proceeded to make it public. He had his agenda.

  129. Always a fan of Thompson. Well spoken man. Respectful rebuttal.

  130. When incompetent people hold office hope for the best but expect the worst 🙂

  131. Is richard Thompson still an athlete????

  132. I love how Thompson handle him ! Those of that ilk love people to kow-tow to them. Meanwhile Shabbir cyar run from A to B, ‍♂️but he want to handle the athlete like he’s a nobody. Ah love how Thompson put him in his dog placeToo many sickening, disrespectful officials in TNT. Left to them TNT wouldn’t be known on the world stage at all!

  133. The majority of,them are arrogant

  134. Utter rubbish and we expect them to represent us with pride smh

  135. Oh Jamaica, Oh Jamaica, Oh Jamaica you’re always on my mind

  136. Who the hell is Shabbir and why is this person holding such a position

  137. Just heard Richard Thompson on i95 fm with Andre Errol Baptiste. Hope this issue gets resolved quickly, especially for the sake of other athletes. Smh

  138. The way these people operate you would think it’s some kind of clan or secret society…. they not easy at all. If you go to a meeting with them they smile and make all kind of promises and once you leave here… you can’t get any more responces or any follow up.
    I am glad he is exposing them.. just like Keshorn did and Keston did..they operate in a very vindictive way

  139. Stand up to them Mr. Thompson. That Shabbir character deserved what he got and more. Rude and disrespectful.

  140. Hear nah!! Jean-Luc Rochford, national footballer, is another athlete getting BS!! #Shame

  141. What the hell? Richard Thompson’s 1st response was polite and concise. How did Shabbir Mohammed go from 0-100 from that with such a combative and disrespectful tone? There must be some correspondence missing in between there somewhere because that tone makes no sense at all.

    • I read the emails and I believe the the official became personal in dealing with the matter by questioning his status as an elite things went down hill from there. His job was not to question Mr Thompson’s position but to direct him on the correct way to complete the forms. Mr Thompson on the other hand in feeling offended he should have: 1. Email the officer with his concerns and also send a copy to the supervisor. 2. Ensuring that his paperwork was in order so that would not be an issue in putting his case forward about the treatment received from the officer.

      This also speaks to customer service, the officers who are dealing with the athletes are the face of the ministry and it would seem to me their job is to guide the athletes or thier management in the proper way of completing the required paperwork for the funding.

  142. Unbelievable…. Teocah Arieal you read this madness

  143. My mouth was agape reading this. I cannot believe this is authentic.

  144. No money for our top athletes/sport ambassadors, but plenty money to “wine and dine” in Tobago. I hope that the upcoming athletes, Jereem Richards and co. take note. Shameless Minister and Ministry Officials.

  145. We live in the social media where it’s imperative call out and show up these people for what they are ….and show them up big time!!

  146. Shameful and disrespectful indeed. We going nowhere fast!

  147. When his clapback game is strong well done richard stand up for your rights alot of corruption taking place all over

  148. Sad to note these developments between Sportt/Min of Sport and Torpedo Thompson..

  149. O and btw Lasana Liburd i told you this type of article would could be a daily series.lol

  150. When will these people learn,there has never been a sport called administration, This is shoddy treatment for one of our most celebrated sons of the soil.Sad!!!

  151. WaW. SMH. The bottom line is that athletes across the board have to get those passes/degrees/ skills to make a living outside of sport . WaW again. I ll be sure to forward this to my son. I preach to him day in day out about the reality of sport in sweet TnT. I Hope and pray he takes heed. Amen.

  152. That is the first thing they do here when you speak out…they blacklist you.
    Sure ..he has been blacklisted because he spoke out. That is how they do it in that Ministry.
    They ‘punish’ … in their mind they think it’s punishment… anyone who speaks out about what is really going on with Athletics.
    Especially if you are out of the country you ketch your backside to collect any funding or money due.

  153. Wow hell no total disrespect one like me I wud have never represent Trinidad and Tobago again . Instead Canada , America or any other country here I come

  154. Shame on them, I am all for accountability but you do not TREAT people so, in fact the ministry should have officers permanently assigned to our elite athletes to avoid this kind of shit.

    • I thought I heard him say he submitted all be necessary documents, but perhaps it got misplaced???? who knows, these tho he always happen. I do hope that all concerns get their deserving rewards.

  155. I find the responses from the Sports Ministry to be somewhat terse; perhaps even caustic. Reading through those emails one can easily form the impression that there is some discord between the athlete and the Sports Ministry. This can prove to be discouraging to any athlete representing our nation. I hope that good sense will prevail, and efforts will be made to have some serious discourse.

  156. Big respect to Thomson…..big disrespect to the Minister and those under him.

  157. Come on now Joan, guy looks like Kung Fu Panda. Only thing he looks like he worked hard on was his 3 square meals lol

  158. This interchange is shockingly deplorable! I am grossly disappointed with Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs on this critically sensitive matter. This unfortunate situation, clearly supports my consistent suggestion that T&T Ministers of Sport and Permanent Secretaries of Sport should not be (1) politically appointed. (2) should be thoroughly vetted. (3) Should have proven leadership and people management experiences/talents/skills. (4) should have a genuine interest in T&T sports development. (5) should be knowledgeable of the requirements of our elite and professional athletes.

  159. Malik he eh no little pencil pusher. #justpointingouttheelephabtintheroon

    • I cynically chose that term because I’m seeing signs of a man trying to “pull rank” over someone because he probably knows he could never be at that level. So to get back at him he has to let him know who is boss in his legendary administrative stance. It’s actually a form of discrimination …..

  160. Sad they have to go out, represent our country and are not respected at home .

  161. How is it a little pencil pusher all of a sudden feel he have all that power to address a grown man like that? Hiding behind a computer … disrespectful no rass …….

  162. Seems as if Sports and Culture are in the same boat … total disregard for both

  163. Joan by mill you mean threadmill? Asking for a friend….

  164. This is very unfortunate and totally unnecessary and one of the reasons why persons in this position should have gone through the mill like Richard and so be in a better position to understand what athletes go through. In the first place, at the mention that he had just had hip surgery and was unable to come in, a visit should have been arranged to go to him to obtain the clarification that you needed. I am sure this would have made all the difference moving forward even if in the final analysis for some valid reason monies were not forthcoming. It is not what you do but how you do it. As to the tone of the email as Richard said, no national athlete should be addressed in that manner, elite or not.

  165. How can we expect the minister to understand what athletes go through and have empathy? TnT wicked yes. Was Minister Smith ever fit for that job? He more looks like an agriculture man who understands food.