(CMR) The Cayman Islands Boxing Association has issued a statement following an incident at the D. Dalmain Ebanks Boxing Gym on Tuesday which led to the arrest of former national boxer Charles Whittaker.
In the statement, the Association said while it does not usually discuss matters publicly, it wanted to clarify some misinformation that was being circulated.
According to the statement, Whittaker recently made inaccurate negative comments and racial slurs on social media concerning CIBA and “engaged in similar derogatory behavior within earshot of young boxers on Monday.”
“Therefore, staff members approached Mr. Whittaker and requested that he behave in a respectful manner when using the facilities, and if he had a complaint, then he could utilize the appropriate channels. Mr. Whittaker responded in an extremely aggressive and threatening manner against a female member of staff using highly inappropriate language and behavior in front of young boxers,” the statement continued.
CIBA said following that incident, it acted within established protocols and reported this incident immediately to the Department and Ministry of Sports. CIBA and the Department of Sports agreed that the former national boxer would not be allowed to use the facility and held accountable for his actions. The matter was also reported to the police.
According to CIBA, Whittaker returned to the gym at about 3:50 pm on Tuesday, April 27, during afterschool training time, when children were using the premises.
“In an abundance of caution, the children in our care were moved to train outside. Mr. Whittaker began behaving inappropriately. As was documented, he verbally abused staff members, damaged government property, and acted in a menacing fashion. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service arrived at the scene within 25 minutes. In the interval, Mr. Whittaker managed to gain access to the premises, and he pushed a 19-year-old female member of staff,” CIBA stated
The statement also acknowledged that the videos on social media showed a member of CIBA staff also responding to the altercation in a verbally aggressive and derogatory manner.
CIBA said the staff member has since apologized for losing her temper and responding aggressively and that appropriate steps have been taken concerning her conduct.
“CIBA cannot and will not, tolerate behaviour like this from any national athlete, former national athlete, staff member of gym member. It can and it has used its disciplinary policy to hold persons accountable for their actions and set an example for the young people of this country to follow,” the Association stated.
CIBA said it has arranged for counseling for any children who witnessed the incident as it continues to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the benefit of all users of the gym under the arrangement with the Department of Sports.
CIBA Ltd, the current entity charged with governance of amateur boxing within the Cayman Islands, was established in July 2017. It was one of the first registered non-profit associations within the Islands. CIBA’s membership elects a Board of Directors, who make decisions on behalf of the association. The board comprises a diverse background of people who bring different expertise to the oversight of CIBA’s operations. This includes five Caymanians and three ex-pats. Each director is a volunteer. None of these directors receive any remuneration from CIBA for the services they provide in attending meetings, making decisions, hosting events, officiating, coaching, or performing administrative tasks.
CIBA receives funding in the form of a grant from the Cayman Islands Government, private sponsorships, and gym memberships. The vast majority of this funding is applied to CIBA’s employee liabilities. CIBA currently has five members of staff, who are all Caymanian. These include one Operations Manager and four coaches. The majority of CIBA’s funding received subsidized salaries and training for coaches in addition to equipment and upkeep of the training facility.