MANILA, Philippines – A Filipina skateboarder alleged on Monday that she has been removed from the Southeast Asian Games roster for her refusal to "make a public apology for exposing the truth on social media."
Arianne Mae Trinidad, who goes by the moniker "Kiddo," revealed on her social media pages that she was removed from the list of skateboarders for the upcoming SEA Games, even though she qualified by virtue of being a national champion.
"I was removed because they wanted me to make a public apology for exposing the truth on social media," Trinidad wrote.
"So when I declined, they removed me from the list – without informing me, and without any official/formal letter," she added.
The 25-year-old Trinidad is among the skateboarders who wrote to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) earlier this month. According to a report from the Manila Times, they are alleging that Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines Inc. (SRSA) had excluded eligible skateboarders from the SEA Games teams and the World Roller Games last July.
They were allegedly replaced by "handpicked" skateboarders, instead.
Trinidad said she is not the only skateboarder who had been removed from the roster.
"This also happened to another participant named CL Paje, the overall champion for Men's GOS, also not informed about being removed from the competition only to find out that they have pre-selected skateboarders, instead of the competition winners prior to the national championship," she said.
The president of the SRSA, Monty Mendigoria, told the Manila Times that the federation can handpick the team, and hinted that the other skateboarders are difficult to work with.
"How can you rely on the ability alone if the attitude is bad?" he was quoted as saying.
In her Facebook post, Trinidad appeared to criticize this comment.
"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," she said.
"There you go, instant 'bad attitude.' If not siding on the side of evilness means having a 'bad attitude,' well, we'd love to have attitude problems all day, every day," she added.
"They don't want us on their team because we resist, we speak the truth and we fight when something is wrong and not fair. They need puppets, not athletes."
ABS-CBN News reached out to Mendigoria, but he has yet to reply to a request for comment regarding Trinidad's post.
The skateboarding event in the SEA Games is scheduled from December 3 to 8 at the Tagaytay Skate Park.
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