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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.


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.


(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.


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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  1. 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.

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

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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?
    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.

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

  7. 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!

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

  9. 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

  10. Reading this breaks my heart…

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. 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? “

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

  17. 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.

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

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

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

  24. 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.
        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.

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

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

  27. 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!

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

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

  30. 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

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

    • 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.

  32. 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!!

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

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

  35. 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!!!

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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

  39. 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.

  40. 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 …..

  41. 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 …….

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

  43. 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.

  44. 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.