After missing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics due to a suspension for marijuana use, sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson received a tsumani of support from Black Twitter and beyond.
Post-Olympics, all eyes were on Eugene, Oregon, where Richardson was to race the three Tokyo Olympics medalists, all track giants from Jamaica. Elaine Thompson-Herah took Olympic gold, while Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won silver and teammate Shericka Jackson got bronze.
The ultra-hyped event did not end the way Richardson envisioned, as she finished dead last in the field.
After that loss, and while Richarson was still on the track and being interviewed by a national media outlet, Fraser-Pryce appeared to laugh at the Dallas-born sprinter Richardson. The loss came on the heals of Richardson supposedly talking “noise” about the Jamaican sprinters. She was also criticized on Twitter in the wake of her last-place showing at the recent Prefontaine Classic.
With that context in mind, Olympics bronze medalist Allyson Felix offered words of support during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, guest-hosted by Stephen A. Smith.
In response to a question about Richardson, Felix said, “I know that she’s obviously been through so much, and I hope that she’s just supported. I hope people rally around her. Obviously, she has a great personality, and she’s brought a lot of attention to the sport, and I think she’ll be in the sport for a very long time.”
“I think just more than anything,” she added, “for all athletes, there’s so much that goes into it. Just give her the support that she needs.”
Seemingly supportive words, right? Apparently, not to Richardson.
Richardson then appeared to throw shade at Felix, writing early Wednesday in an Instagram story, “encouraging words on tv shows are just as real as well nothing at all.” A second post read, “Be a good person, but don’t waste time proving it.”
Black Twitter users did not take kindly to Richardson’s resonse to interview statements by Felix, especially since Felix seemed to take the high road, the supportive role, a move that was contrasted greatly by the Jamaican sprinters after the race, who each refused to comment post-race when asked about Richardson.
Black Twitter let it be known that they took Richardson’s comments as shade toward not only a fellow professional track athlete, not only another Black woman, but the most decorated American track and field athlete of all time.
And Black Twitter was not having it. The pushback was swift.
Not all members of Black Twitter were ready to write of Richardson.
Twitter user @ItsDanaWhite tweeted, “Sha’carri is 21. That’s literally a youth. Like, by definition…and socialization. Like, I’ve had young people her age in drop-in programs. Black youth will always get grace, patience, love, and opportunity to grow from me, in this world that grants them none.”
However, the vast majority were not feeling Richardson’s seeming shade to what sounded like words of support for Richardson from Felix during her Jimmie Kimmel Show interview.
“(If this is real) Someone really has to pull Sha’Carri to the side. She’s creating a lot of ill will for no reason. There’s prob no better mentor for a young (Black) female sprinter in the US than Allyson Felix,” one wrote.
“seeeeeee I’ve supported and defended Sha’Carri this whole time through everything but what she NOT FINNA DO is play with Allyson Felix top,” maintained another.
A third tweeted, “Sha’Carri is stupid. That’s it, that’s all. You f**k up an Olympic bag, come in dead last after talking so much sh*t and now you wanna throw subs to Allyson Felix who said nothing but positive remarks about you? Man shut up.”
Richardson has again entered the national conversation; this time for supposedly liking a controversial tweet about the three Jamaican sprinters.
“Not y’all Jamaicans still talking s*** when y’all gotta walk barefoot to your coconut stand everyday for a living,” the now-deleted tweet said.
The offensive post was “liked” by Richardson’s verified Twitter handle. However, there’s no way, short of Richardson revealing, that she was the one who hit the heart feature.