Any sport at a top-level is serious business, so it goes without saying that athletes who are competing professionally are under a lot of stress. You know that there are throngs of other people who are training just as hard, if not harder than you are, to reach their maximum potential.
And while marathoning might not be as "intense" as sports like Football, that doesn't mean runners aren't getting violent with themselves to test their limits, like dog-kicking Colombian athlete Jamie Alejandro.
Jamie was competing in the Saint Silvester Road Race in Caldas, Colombia which had participants trudging through winding streets on New Year's eve. While moving with a group of other runners on a street in Neira, a brown dog passed in front of Jamie along with other participants. While mid-stride, Jamie can be seen kicking the dog to move out of the way. The pupper scampers along with his tail between his legs.
The runners never broke their pace and continued their pace, not paying the dog any mind. Call it the competitive mindset, keeping their eyes on the prize, or whatever, but they didn't even acknowledge the animal in front of them.
The outrage on social media for Jamie and the other participants was swift, with the Colombian marathoner taking the brunt of the blame because, well, he was the one that kicked the dog in the first place, wasn't he?
One of Jamie's top sponsors was Under Armour, who, after hearing about all of the outrage regarding the runner's mid-race canine-punting, distanced themselves from the athlete by ending their endorsement deal with them. The athletics-wear manufacturer said in a statement:
"Under Armour has ended its relationship with Jaime Alejandro after the video came to light in recent days. As a company, we do not tolerate any violence or behavior that may harm or put animals in danger."
Some people applauded the company's decision to call Jamie out, while others thought it was pretty "rich" considering Under Armour still sponsors some trophy hunters.
Jamie attempted to make amends by posting an apology video online and included a photography of him lovably embracing a dog, who, coincidentally, doesn't seem all that happy to be held by the runner.
Some folks on Twitter weren't buying it, calling the apology obviously "staged". I don't know if that's the case, but just look at the dog's face in the screencapped tweet above, they don't look too enthused.
In his attempt to make amends, Jamie said: "I did not consider my actions. I have no excuses and I do not justify what I did.I hope I can repay for this somehow, maybe helping dogs in the street. I will not be posting that on social media but I will know what I did. I am not justifying my actions but it was a moment of euphoria in the race. I was not thinking and I know I can be a brute when I am competing."
Jamie hasn't responded to Under Armour's decision to end their deal with him, nor has he spoken anymore about the dog-kicking incident.
Also, his comment about being a "brute" when he's competing seems a bit like a justification for what he did. And while I certainly get tunnel vision whenever I'm working on something I care about, showing disregard to other living beings while I'm doing it isn't something I should ever justify, or would even want to.
You can check out the video for yourself and see if you think that Jamie was merely trying to "get him out of the way" or if it was a gratuitously mean move on his part. As a heads up, just know that social media is branding this video as sensitive, so keep that in mind before clicking on it.
Do you think the runner needs to be "canceled" after his actions? Or was it something that can be forgiven when you consider the situation in which it occurred?