USA’s track and field sportsmen sat together on Tuesday, November 12th to discuss their concerns about the discontinuation of several sports from the Diamond League series. The sportsmen found the governing body out of touch especially when deciding to bring these changes.
USAF’s Athletes Advisory Committee penned down an open letter on behalf of all the concerned sportsmen to the World Athletics chief, Sabastian Coe suggesting to reverse the cutting down of games such as the triple jump, the 200 meters, steeplechase and how this decision is straightforwardly unacceptable.
The World Athletics, however, justified their move by stating how this act would focus the Diamond league on core games, that are favored by television audiences.
Christian Taylor has emerged as the face of opposition and demands of athletes having a higher say in the decision making have emerged.
The letter described how the World Athletics and the Diamond Leagues organizers have not been considerate of the athletes and the sports that they play and are associated with, also offering their support to Taylor’s move to protect athletes’ interests. They believe that the governing body’s soul purpose to grow the platform and protect existing games have been violated.
The biggest concern, however, was that the very soul of the Diamond League, the sportsmen had no say in the reformation process. They believed a middle ground could have been achieved balancing the concerns of athletes as well as improving television content for viewers. The decisions that surfaced were considered biased and in the light of these decisions, the athletes realized how the governing body views them as no more than just actors to their event.
Furthermore, some games were now allotted reduced prize money, disregarding their importance or that of the athletes. The letter further stated how this can not be accepted anymore and a significant representation of athletes needs to be present in decision making.
More, celebrity athletes have emerged to oppose the World Athletics, like Jonathan Edwards, triple jump world record holder condemned the act of denying Taylor a stage, and stated how isolating the true faces of sports will only affect the events, that are especially run by the athletes.