By Gregory Bryce
I am someone who has learnt, over the last few years, to never truly hold public figures to any true sort of moral expectations and I have never felt the need to place anyone up on a pedestal. The common misconception that those in the public light are perfect beings is one that has been shown to be utterly false time and time again. No matter how public a person’s life may be, we will never be able to truly know what is going on behind the curtains 24/7.
But even then, I am still surprised at the accusations and stories that seem to come straight out of left field every now and again.
Just this week, Jamaican U23 footballer Kyle Butler went on social media speaking about an attack that had happened on his person while he was training at Mona High School.
Kyle is not someone who is unknown to the Jamaican footballing sphere. After all, he is the brother of Jamaica International and Bayer Leverkusen player, Leon Bailey.
Like his brother, Kyle also has his experience in football but he was not as well received as Bailey. In fact, there was the contingent of online users that were of the opinion that Kyle did not deserve his spot in the U23 team. This was based on the allegations being made that Craig Butler, his father and agent, would only allow Bailey to play for the Reggae Boyz on the condition that Kyle would get a place in the U23 team.
Whether or not these allegations were true, it seemed to be water under the bridge as Kyle was added to the team and had performed well with his duties.
It had seemed that all the drama around Kyle had finally ended.
But this was not the case. When I had first heard the news, I thought this was a random and isolated attack. The player had posted images on Twitter (which has since been deleted) showing knife wounds he had suffered during the attack.
The red flags started to show when he later wrote in a series of tweets about his attacker. Kyle claimed that this was not the first time he had been attacked while training, and made implications that the attacker was his father, Craig Butler.
“Today I got attacked and left on the road to bleed out. No more lies. I was attacked today at training, at Mona High School,” Kyle wrote in his tweets. “I guess you can pick up the reason. Whenever I didn’t want to play football or do as he says, he would resort to violence.”
“My mother has been abused mentally and physically by this man for several years,” he would later go on to post. “I really don’t want to put this out in the media but you should all know the pain and the abuse that I’ve been enduring since I was nine years old… that my mother has been enduring.”
His mother, Sophia Smith Brown (who has been separated from Craig Butler for over a decade), came out in support of her son’s allegations in a social media post.
“I stand with my son and support him 100% in the statements he has made. The days of slavery are done and over. People owning other people are done and over… The damage that one narcissistic personality can do to the lives of others is literally unimaginable. Explaining narcissistic abuse to someone who has never experienced it is like trying to explain colour to the blind.”
Craig Butler has since denied the allegations through his attorney and reportedly says that he will not get into a public ‘war of words’ with his son.
Without knowing whether or not these allegations are true, it is utterly regrettable that an otherwise talented player has suffered those injuries and years of abuse. Should the knife wounds have actually been inflicted by his father, surely legal intervention is the next step for Kyle.
Hopefully, the truth will come to light soon enough, and the appropriate actions taken by the powers that be.
Gregory Bryce is a freelance sports journalist.
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