SAINT-DENIS, France (AP) _ American sprinter Jon Drummond pulled out of the World Championships on Tuesday rather than being forced out because of his track protest.
Drummond, who threw a tantrum after being disqualified from Sunday's 100-meter quarterfinals for a false start, announced his decision as world track officials threatened to kick him out of the championships for ``bringing the sport into disrepute.''
NEWS: DRUMMOND SAID: "During Sunday's 100 metres quarter-finals I felt very strongly that I was disqualified from the race unfairly and I protested my disqualification. I honestly believe I did not false start. It was never my intention to harm the sport in any way or to inconvenience my fellow competitors or the fans. Today I announce that I am withdrawing from the world championships and the remainder of the 2003 track season. My spirit is broken because it has always been my desire to provide entertainment for the fans."
What is really pissing me off about most of your reactions is that after one understandably emotive incident, you all seem to forget that Jon Drummmond is a great athlete and, for the most part, has always been one of the classier acts in sports. He shows none of the cockyness that is so characteristic of top sprinters, he doesn't flap his gums like an idiot about running 9.6 and other far-out accomplishments, and he definitely is doesn't have a case of pro athelte megalomania. He even answers fan emails from his personal address! Cut the cat some slack and stop ripping on his character and his supposed lack of respect for his country.
The reason people are not cutting the guy any slack is because this is NOT a one-time occurance. Drummand has a history, the prime example being his and his 400-meter-relay teammates "performance" at the Olympics. His excuse for acting like an idiot? "I didn't know how to act. I've never won a gold medal before."
If indeed the Worlds had been his first outburst, the reaction from track fans wouldn't have been nearly as intense.
(By the way, thank you for the upgrade in vocabulary.)
>Brian, as evidenced by your limited vocabulary
>you sound as intelligent as Drummand. It's easy
>to understand why you'd be sticking up for the
First of all, my use of the word "fuck" is not indicative of a limited vocabulary. I simply use such vernacular to emphasize how irritated I am by your sentiments. Secondly, you are wrong to chalk up Drummond's tantrum to a lack of intelligence, and that kind of surmise just confirms what I already knew about you - that you pass judgement without knowing anything about Jon Drummond.
So, Drummond celebrates excessively and apologizes sincerely. Then, several years later, he feels he is unfairly charged with a false start and, knowing that the race will go on without him, protests thinking it is his best chance of getting to race. Considering all the entertainment he brings to track, the fact that he persists amongst the top after all these years, his obvious respect for the fans, don't you think he could be forgiven for two unfortunate outbursts?
>The reason people are not cutting the guy any
>slack is because this is NOT a one-time
>occurance. Drummand has a history, the prime
>example being his and his 400-meter-relay
>teammates "performance" at the Olympics. His
>excuse for acting like an idiot? "I didn't know
>how to act. I've never won a gold medal
If indeed the Worlds had been his
>first outburst, the reaction from track fans
>wouldn't have been nearly as intense.
The "prime" example being his behavior after the Sydney 4x1? Will you please be so kind as to mention all the other examples of poor conduct by Jon Drummond that you find to be slightly less significant than the "prime" example from Sydney? Or is that the really ONLY example? Look, if you want criticize JD's tantrum in Paris, fine- but leave it at that. He is not a bad person, he is not immature, and he doesn't deserve to be ostracized by track fans over this.
It's not that Jon Drummond cannot be brought back into good graces with us (not that we're important) or the track community in general.
As you say, he does have many positive qualities.
However, he has a chink in his armor, that being understanding what constitutes socially acceptable behaviour across multiple cultures in both celebratory situations (Sydney) and stress/anger situations (Paris).
Fine, we all have chinks of one sort or another.
But Jon refuses to acknowledge these weaknesses, which itself is ANOTHER failing, let alone decide to pursue something to deal with it and improve himself. He's in denial.
There are plenty of options:
Anger & Stress management.
Classes in multi-cultural norms.
Maybe when he gets back to L.A.,somebody he respects can get ahold of him and offer some fatherly advice. But it's up to Jon to take that advice and do something with it.
This is EXACTLY the kind of counseling that HSI should be providing its athletes, but it appears that these kind of problems are COMING from HSI athletes quite frequently in recent years. So maybe HSI is so wrapped up in single-culture thinking, it cannot comprehend why certain behaviours are unacceptable to most other cultures.
Maybe athletes being added to HSI recently, like Allen Johnson, can provide some positive role modeling and sound advice to young HSI athletes, but Drummond doesn't fall into the young athlete category who would normally need mentoring from somebody like an Allen Johnson, and Jon would probably get angry at even hearing such a suggestion.
Jon would do well to go back home, cool off, and then ask himself "why are so many people so angry at me? I don't understand why, and I'd really like to understand why."
That would be a good start.
I don't know of any other outbursts by Drummond than those mentioned above. There is certainly a precipitating event for both of them. To take these two events, which are different in character and separated in time, and conclude that Jon needs anger management, cultural sensitivity training, or even fatherly advice is absurd. Who amongst us hasn't let his/her emotions get away from him/her particularly in a stressful environment? Furthermore, Jon is invited by meet promoters around the world and domestically year after year. He has been with the same coach and training group for years. He can't be that unbearable.
>Jon refuses to acknowledge these weaknesses,
>which itself is ANOTHER failing, let alone decide
>to pursue something to deal with it and improve
>himself. He's in denial.
In denial?? He admitted his mistakes and apologized didn't he? Just because he still disagrees with the officiating doesn't mean he thinks the way he handled it was acceptable... and how do you know he hasn't or doesn't plan to pursue any counseling, etc.? More baseless inference
This is getting a little ridiculous as to how far you are really taking this matter: anger and stress management...classes in multi-cultural norms...counseling??? Give me a break. You are talking as if he is the next Sprewell and he was out there chocking the officials or something. Like a few other rational people have said -- there are a few ISOLATED incidents that should not overshadow this man's whole career and everything he has done for the sport, which in my opinion the good far outweighs the bad. John Drummond is a great athlete and more importantly a good person. He has been an exceptional role-model to the young athletes coming up and is always there to help guide and support. The people who REALLY know him know this to be true and respect him for it. The rest of you I suppose will continue to judge a whole person by a couple of unfortunate mistakes he made. Sucks to be human.
I'm not sure what meets you've been watching, but Drummond basically acts a fool to one degree or another at every single meet he's at. All the posing, posturing, yelling, and mugging have become extremely tiresome, and are disrespectful of other competitors, and in very poor taste. He does it so consistently that it is almost sure to get out of hand sometimes, and it has done so, as the most recent incident and the Sydney incident shows. Now that he's 34 and not 24, it also makes the "clown prince of T&F" look like nothing much more than an overly attention-hungry immature clown.
Incidentally, if a USATF official really did counsel Drummond not to leave the track, and condoned him acting like that, then that official deserves to be, and most definitely should be, canned too.