Skateboarder cries foul over removal from PH SEA Games roster: ‘They need puppets, not athletes’

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Arianne Mae Trinidad Trinidad said she was dropped from the country’s official skateboarding team that will compete in the regional meet after declining “to make a public apology for exposing the truth on social media.”

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 25) — Issues continued to hound the country’s bid at the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, as another Filipino athlete came out Monday claiming she was removed from the Philippine delegation after refusing to apologize for “exposing the truth.”

“As of today, I want everyone in the skateboarding community and the Philippines to know that I have been removed from the list of skateboarders who will compete for SEA Games, despite being the champion in the regionals and overall champion for the nationals,” skateboarder Arianne Mae Trinidad said in an Instagram post Monday.

Trinidad said she was dropped from the country’s official skateboarding team that will compete in the regional meet after declining “to make a public apology for exposing the truth on social media.”

“So when I declined, they removed me from the list—without informing me, and without any official/formal letter,” the 25-year-old athlete said.

A report by the Manila Times published November 16 said Trinidad, along with Karla Robelo, CL Paje, and two other skateboarders, wrote a letter to Philippine Sports Commission chief William Ramirez, alleging officials of the Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines Inc. (SRSA) excluded several eligible skateboarders from the SEA Games teams and the World Roller Games 2019 in July, among other complaints.

Robelo and Paje also had the same experience, Trinidad said.

She claimed that some members of the country’s SEA Games skateboarding team were “pre-selected” and chosen over national competition winners.

“We don’t know if their strategy is not to update you regarding your status, pretend like there’s no update from the head of their [association], provoke you until you end up ranting on social media, so they will use it against you. There you go, instant ‘bad attitude’!” she said.

“If not siding on the evilness means having a “bad attitude” well, we’d love to have attitude problems all day, every day. Call us the [worst] attitude club for all we care about. We’d rather look evil and fight for the right thing than to look good and do bad things to people who worked hard for their dreams," she added.

Trinidad said they were removed “because we resist, we speak the truth and we fight when something is wrong and not fair.”

“They need puppets, not athletes,” Trinidad said.

“Our battle won’t end here. And definitely not our dreams. If there is something that will end, I hope it’s the awful-thrash-manipulative-evil-corrupt system,” she added.

Last week decorated karateka James delos Santos also claimed he was "robbed" of his slot in the national team due to alleged politicking.

READ: SEA Games karate medalist 'left out' in 2019 lineup

CNN Philippines has requested for comment from SRSA, but the association has yet to respond.

The SEA Games skateboarding events will run from December 3 to 8 at Tagaytay City Extreme Sports Complex and Maragondon Cavite.