In 2013, the Eternal One, Chris Brown, he of the kind of quality longevity unsurpassed in world track history, brought the finest athletes of his sport to the country of his birth.
It truly was a phenomenal sports stage on which some of the greatest track athletes of all time performed. Two years later, he repeated his magnificent sports/tourism contribution via an amazing competitive product, which he had created.
The event was the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational (CBBI). Brown had gotten official permission from the Government of The Bahamas to brand his invitational event jointly with the country.
It was one of those developments that should live on to provide generations with something synonymous with one of the greatest sons of the Bahamian soil.
I believe there is nation-wide support in that regard.
Yet, interestingly and unbelievably, as I sat during the ceremony, several weeks ago in Grand Bahama to honor the Golden Knights for their glorious accomplishment at the London Olympics in 2012, a 1600 meters relay gold medal, there was a disclosure from the Minister of Youth Sports and Culture that was disconcerting.
I heard Minister of Sports Michael Pintard say that a ”Bahamas Invitational” would be staged in 2019 and if Brown (who was seated behind him on the platform), “would be so minded” he could serve as the patron of the event.
It was a baffling statement, a truly alarming one. It was an awkward moment for Brown, because as he mentioned to me afterwards, he did not quite know what to make of what he had heard.
You see, just like Brown, I, and most definitely all who were associated with the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational, just assumed that his event would enjoy continuity, that just a bit of fleshing out was necessary for the government to agree on a particular CBBI template going forward.
Now, the sports minister is talking about a “Bahamas Invitational” and not a “Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational” and to boot, he wants Chris Brown to be the patron.
Well, unknowingly or otherwise, Minister Pintard succeeded in insulting a revered Bahamian icon.
Chris Brown should always be allowed to “own” his event and others be asked to be patrons. I wonder if Minister Pintard quite understood what he was doing. During our chat after the ceremony Brown clearly was mystified. We haven’t spoken since. I could only hope that if there has been dialogue with the minister, post the Golden Knights’ salute in Grand Bahama, that a mutual understanding was reached.
If the Government of The Bahamas endorses a track invitational, the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational should be a priority.
Perhaps the minister has a good explanation. If Minister Pintard in fact does, he should come forward. As it is, upon his words at the affair for the Golden Knights, with the senior one of them, Chris Brown, looking on and listening intently, it surely sounded as though the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational had already been phased out in favor of an event called simply the Bahamas Invitational.
What is it Minister Pintard?
Has the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational been phased out, or was it just a misstep?
•To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at firstname.lastname@example.org or on WhatsApp at727-6363.