Outspoken and, at times, controversial sports commentator and radio talk show host Oral Tracey is under fire following his comments referring to the girls as selfish and “hype.”
Following the Reggae Girlz’ historic triumph over Brazil on Wednesday, Jamaica has overflowed with both celebration and contention regarding the Jamaica Football Federation’s (JFF) support of the Girlz or the lack thereof.
During a live stream with former Arsenal footballer Ian Wright, Captain of the Reggae Girlz Khadija Shaw highlighted the struggles the national team faced leading up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Shaw shared that the team had to start a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to prepare for the competition, and this was reiterated by multiple international media outlets.
However, the General Secretary of the JFF, Dennis Chung, later stated that no funds from GoFundMe had been used to finance the team. Sports Minister Olivia Grange also shared that the JFF is given $3 million monthly for general operational costs.
Expressing his disappointment in Shaw’s statements on a recent episode of Television Jamaica‘s All Angles, Tracey sought to highlight the reported funding provided by the government and aid received from FIFA. Though Tracey expressed his displeasure at speaking in defence of the JFF, he dismissed Shaw’s statements as completely false.
Sports Commentator and Radio Talk Show Host, Oral Tracey expressed his disappointment in the statements made by Captain of the Reggae Girlz, Khadija Shaw, on how the team was able to go to the FIFA Women’s World Cup this year. #TVJAllAngles pic.twitter.com/qA4mCttgqt
— Television Jamaica (@televisionjam1) August 3, 2023
Unencumbered by the restraints of local television, a “bitter” Tracey spoke on the matter further on his YouTube channel. Tracey said Shaw was targeting the JFF with her “disingenuous statement” and overshadowing Jamaica’s historic moment at the World Cup with the false narrative that the unfortunate Girlz had done it alone.
According to Tracey, Shaw owes Jamaica an apology for her statements.
The veteran sports commentator added that the Girlz and other international players were expecting the same high-quality resources and treatment that they enjoy while playing for international clubs. Tracey went on to label the Girlz as self-serving and “hype.”
“…Dem disingenuous and dem just a pursue dem agenda and dem bitta in a dem heart against the JFF and dem vindictive and dem self-serving and dem, dem hype,” an irate Tracey stated.
Tracey reports that the money raised for the Girlz had not been removed from GoFundMe and that the notion that the team would not have made it to the World Cup if not for the fundraiser was a lie.
His statements have since received backlash, with members of the public taking to social media to express their displeasure with the radio host’s comments on the national team. As a result of the backlash, his name is now trending number one on Twitter.
See some of the reactions below:
According to #TheRipeMango, Tracy is flip-flopping, having bashed the JFF in the past and now doing the opposite.
I watched a clip from All Angles last night w Oral Tracey & I was flabbergasted. Look how much fire him bun pon JFF over them treatment of female footballers over d years & all of a sudden him mouth change? Tell unnu all the time se nutn nuh wrong wid my memory innu @djmillerJA pic.twitter.com/RMHPUeDBWq
— #TheRipeMango (@kamlanichkole) August 3, 2023
“Oral Tracey trying to save face for JFF. The girls started campaigning more than a year ago, and historically, admin funding has been a great issue. Bunny is a part of the system and is more aware of the issues than Oral,” one social media user stated.
Amidst the plenty of backlashing comments, some are in support of Tracy, with one person stating, “Because Oral Tracey thinks independently. He is a man of integrity who supports the TRUTH so when the JFF is wrong, he bashes them. But, if misinformation is being spread about the same administration that he sincerely dislikes, his integrity demands that the truth is spoken.”
Another person talked about the facts, “have u ever considered that facts matter. Yes, there have been challenges and mismanagement when it comes to the Reggae girls but what he has said is factual. it was not a gofundme that took them to Aus. FIFA, Corp Jam, Adidas and others did that.”
Watch Oral Tacy’s video below.