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Bako accuses Bogwheelers Club of racism

Brighton Bako, the father and manager of one of the country’s top junior motocross riders Emmanuel, has accused the Bogwheelers Club of “racism.”

FATHER AND SON . . . Brighton Bako, seen here and his son Emmanuel, has accused the Bogwheelers Club of alleged racism in a move that could shake motorsports in the country.
FATHER AND SON . . . Brighton Bako, seen here and his son Emmanuel, has accused the Bogwheelers Club of alleged racism in a move that could shake motorsports in the country.

This follows the decision by the leaders to censure him for what they said was his inappropriate action during a National Championship event at Donnybrook Park on March 15.

On that day, Brighton Bako is alleged to have exchanged some harsh words with Roy Manuel, who is a close relative of another top junior motocross rider Daiyaan “D” Manuel.

His son Emmanuel “had beaten Daiyaan for the top step on the podium” in one of the classes the two young bikers were competing in.

It is alleged Roy Manuel accused Emmanuel of cheating during the race meeting.

Brighton and Roy, who is understood to be the grandfather of Daiyaan, nearly exchanged blows before they were separated and restrained by officials and parents of other riders.

And the Bogwheelers Club, who run the motorcycling sport of motocross in this country, recently wrote a letter to Brighton in which they also threatened to take disciplinary action against him for “improper conduct during a race meeting”.

Part of the letter, which was written to Brighton on March 20, reads:

“(The) Bogwheelers Club has taken note of an incident between yourself, Mr Bako and Mr Manuel, during the National race day on the 15th March 2020.

“Emmanuel and Daiyaan are our top two riders and are in the public spotlight. Hence, you, as their biggest supporters, are under the same microscope.

‘’This very unfortunate, and unacceptable incident, was witnessed by our sponsors, the public, fellow riders and members and has placed the club and the sport in a compromised position with our potential sponsors.

“Bad behaviour and undesirable language exchanged by riders or their parental support will not be tolerated.

“Please be reminded that the behaviour of any person, parental or supporter of a particular rider reflects on the rider, leaving the rider open to receive penalties.

“For future reference, within the Regulations published for each meeting, clear guidelines are given as to the correct procedure that needs to be followed in the instance of the incident.

“This letter serves as your first official warning, for improper conduct during a race meeting. We request you respond to this communication within seven days. Failure to respond will result in future action being taken.”

The letter was signed by the Bogwheelers Club’s chairman, Phil Dos Santos, his vice Gary Grainger and Owen Robinson (COC).

It could not be established yesterday whether Roy received the same letter censuring him for his part in the scuffle.

But, Brighton, came out with all guns blazing, denying the accusations and painting his accusers as racists.

He also said the Bogwheelers Club’s decision to censure him for the March 15 incident was “racism is at its best which needs to be tackled without any fear”.

A seething Brighton also accused the club of being “the judge, jury and executioner”, as they have threatened to take some disciplinary action against him without bringing him before their disciplinary committee for a hearing.

“After the said incident on March 15, I was never called for any disciplinary hearing and I was surprised to receive this letter, censuring me for what they are saying was an improper conduct by myself during the race meeting in question.

“I was the one who was provoked and attacked by Roy Manuel who was accusing my son Emmanuel of cheating during the race and he fired volleys of some harsh and unprintable words towards me, only for me to be censured for an improper conduct.

“These are are just silly accusations aimed at tarnishing my image.

“We (Team Bako) need to act on this one. They have ruffled my feathers… I think (this is) racism is at its best. We should not let racism rear its ugly head in our sport. And as for (Bogwheelers Club chairman) Philip Dos Santos, I want to know his status in Zimbabwe,” said a fuming Brighton yesterday.

Efforts to get a comment from Dos Santos, or from other members of the Bogwheelers Club, proved fruitless yesterday.

But in another separate correspondence with Brighton, the Bogwheelers Club chairman Dos Santos said: “The letter is not about what Manu did…( if he did it) but about what happened between Roy and you. (you told me what happened I didn’t even know)… as they said, there’s a clear procedure to follow…Manuel didn’t follow the procedure and had bad words . . .” The Herald