In a recent interview on the newly launched podcast that he shares with his wife, Alyshia Miller-Powell, called the Fast Lane Lifestyle, Asafa Powell made a few comments about his experience when encountering Jamaican citizens in public and has been receiving severe backlash for the commentary.
During the interview, Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah spoke about how sometimes when she meets Jamaicans on the streets, it seemed as if they wanted her to go out of her way to greet them. After sharing an experience she had at the airport after returning home from New York, about a fan commenting, “how she jus pass we suh?”
Talking about a similar incident, Powell stated that people always expected him to greet them in public. He voiced, “weh mi a walk round and hail up everybody fah? Mi nuh know unnuh, mi nuh business bout unnuh.” His wife said that if in the alternate scenario if that is done, then people would call them hype. To this Thompson-Herah wondered what exactly the public wanted if that is the case.
After the podcast episode was aired, many Jamaicans took to the comment section to bash the retired former world record holder for his harsh and disrespectful comments about fellow Jamaicans. Someone mentioned, “as a faithful Asafa fan I believe some of the comments in this interview went a little too far. You cannot use a few people to judge the rest of us. I feel insulted by some of the comments made,” while another commented, “Thanks to the Powells for using their platform to highlight the joys, struggles, pain , anguish, and lives of our athletes. It is not often that we get an in depth perspective. Hopefully the Gov’t can do more and do better in supporting their sacrifice.”
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Issuing a rebuttal, in an episode entitled “This is not an APOLOGY… we’re just Setting the Record STRAIGHT“, as the general public continues to condemn Powell for his honest but “cruel” remarks, the former male sprinter clarified that saying “all Jamaicans” does not mean he is generalizing everyone, but it was just a part of the lingo of how all Jamaicans speak. He spoke about how his platform is just a safe space for athletes to speak freely about their truth and said that most commenters only watched a short clip of the podcast and decided that he was wrong.
Defending her husband’s point of view, Miller-Powell stated, “this id our platform, it’s supposed to be about good times, our experiences. It might not always be what you want to hear…if I’m talking about my truth and you don’t like it, maybe it’s something within you that…you’re just not ready to hear that yet.”
However, not all viewers joined that Powell-bashing wagon. Keitho Nembhard relayed, “The sentiments behind this interview I fully understand, that backlash maybe coming from the choice of words. I have no issues here…”
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