Atiba Harris – FC Dallas Footballer
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
January 30, 2010 (CUOPM)
A Kittitian-born international footballer, Atiba Harris, is claiming that the People’s Action Movement (PAM) lied when it claimed he had endorsed PAM candidate Mr. Eugene Hamilton and the PAM party of Mr. Lindsay Grant during the recent general elections campaign.
The FC Dallas mid-fielder, who was acquired from Chivas USA, was responding to a press release from the PAM Secretariat that was posted on the SKNVIBES website.
“This is Atiba Harris and I was made aware of a letter posted on your website about me, stating that I endorse the PAM and Eugene Hamilton which I find very unprofessional and foolish. I’m extremely disappointed that you posted a letter of this magnitude on your website without contacting me to confirm anything. This is my reputation that you are messing with and if needed I’ll take legal actions for I’m not a man of politics. I’m a young athlete that’s striving to do my best to represent myself, my family and my country. I need you to let the people of St. Kitts and Nevis know that I’m not involved in anything of that sort and for future, please inform of anything of this sort,” Harris is quoted as saying in an SKNVIBES story.
SKNVIBES said it was sent a press release by the PAM Public Relations Office on Saturday (Jan. 23) headlined “St. Kitts-Nevis soccer superstar Atiba Harris endorses Eugene Hamilton and PAM.”
The PAM issued statement on Atiba’s endorsement read: “During the early stages of my career like any other young aspiring athlete I experienced many trials and tribulations. My will and perseverance enabled me to deal with many of those trials and tribulations. However will and perseverance would have not been enough to enable me to reach where I am today.
“Eugene Hamilton was a critical and significant person in my personal and professional development. Outside of my Mom and my family Eugene was the most important factor in my development along with my will and perseverance. When I left St. Kitts to pursue a professional career in England there were many obstacles, hindrances and difficulties. These difficulties were significantly reduced and in many cases totally eliminated because of the assistance of Mr. Hamilton. He gave of his time, knowledge, counsel, effort and money. Mr. Hamilton is a good man.
“It gives me great pleasure to fully endorse Mr. Eugene Hamilton as my next representative for my Constituency #8. I am of the firm view that Mr. Hamilton will provide the people of Constituency #8 with the leadership and representation that they have been longing and yearning for, for the last 15 years.
“I also want to fully endorse the People’s Action Movement’s Sports Agenda for the future. I am particularly impressed by PAM’s emphasis on youth and social development through sports. The establishment of a National Sports Academy is particularly interesting to me. This will properly prepare young athletes for the rigors of college and professional sports.”
SKNVIBES said when it contacted the PAM Secretariat of Mr. Lindsay Grant, and told of Harris’ denial of endorsement, PAM’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Wallis Wilkin said the letter was written by him (Wilkin) after a telephone conversation with the soccer star.
“I am in contact with Atiba and I spoke to him. I said to him if he can endorse Eugene Hamilton and he said he would do anything for Hamilton. I requested to record his endorsement but he told me that he did not have the time. So, I suggested that I will draft up something and email it to him. I did email it to him and got his consent, and I don’t know how come he is now saying something different,” Wilkin said.