Black Twitter is not feeling the Olympics, and it hasn’t even started yet.
The suspension of U.S. sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson for testing positive for marijuana is only the begining of Black people’s growing concerns over this year’s Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan.
Though Richardson has received condemnation from some Blacks, the majority, or at least the majority who are active on social media, have been showning the Dallas-born track star love and support
“If you’re afraid of Sha’Carri smoking the brakes off y’all, just say that but suspending people for using marijuana — a billion-dollar industry at this point — is ridiculous,” journalist Evette Dionne wrote. She added, “I see people attempting to turn this into a ‘Black Americans vs. everybody’ issue. Let’s not. Sha’Carri deserves to run, no matter what country she represents.”
Chuck Modi tweeted, “Marijuana? This is ridiculous if true. Sha’Carri Richardson deserves better. Do you have any idea all the shyt media and police looked the other way to allow Michael Phelps to keep swimming?”
Phelps, 36, is the most decorated Olympian of all time, with 28 medals to his name. He is currently the spokesman for Talkspace, a mental health website, after admitting he battled substance abuse and depression.
“People keep bringing up Michael Phelps bong pics & suspension,” Modi continued on Twitter. “That was like 1% of it. He was protected for YEARS before/after that. Some of it public (2004 DUI; 2014 DUI; 2009 Car crash after drinking) and a whole lot more shyt private. There are stories. Protected whole career.”
Thursday morning, Richardson herself tweeted simply: “I am human.”
The tweet has been liked more than 200,000 times, with celebrities and civilians alike responding with words of support.
During a Today exclusive Friday morning, Richardson shared that her struggles with the loss of her mother and the pressure of her track career contributed to her using marijuana to cope. “Every time I step on the track, it’s expected to be a record-breaking time.”
Still, Richardson refused to shirk responsibility for her suspension, telling the Today SHow interviewer, “I want to take responsibility for my actions. I know what I’m supposed to do. I know what I’m allowed not to do and still made that decision.”
Richardson continued, saying, “I’m not making an excuse. I’m not looking for any empathy in my case … however, being in that position of my life, finding something out, finding out something like that, something that I would say is probably one of the biggest things to impact me positively and negatively in my life when it comes to dealing with the relationship I had with my mother. It definitely was a heavy topic on me.”
“People don’t understand what’s like to have to — or people do, we all have our struggles, we all have our different things we deal with — but to have to go out in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain … who am I to tell you how to cope when you’re dealing with pain or a struggle you’ve never experienced before?”
Richardson also shared that she learned about the passing of her biological mother from a reporter during an interview.
“No offense to him, he was just doing his job. But, hearing that from a total stranger sent me into a state of … emotional panic,” she responded. “And knowing that I still have to go out and put on a performance for my dream. I still have to go out there and compete.” She confessed she was “blinded by hurt.”
“I know that I can’t hide myself,” said Richardson, “so in some type of way, I tried to hide my pain.”
Several celebrities have shown the young star compassion and love, including actress Gabrielle Union, who tweeted, “Weed is great for many a thing but running faster isn’t one of them. LET HER RUN!!! #ShacarriRichardson.”
Union’s husband, former NBA star Dwyane Wade, former NBS superstar and Union’s husband, also shared words backing Richardson and calling “hypocrisy,” tweeting, “But majority of y’all rule makers smoke and probably are investors in THC companies. Let’s stop playing these games.”
“You’re amazing at what you do,” author Roxane Gay replied. “All best.” Another tweeted: “Yes, you are. We see you. Keep doing you. You make us proud. You have ‘Aunties’ around the globe in your corner.”
Richardson won the women’s 100-meter race at the U.S. track and field trials last month with a time of 10.64, making her the fastest woman in America, and a front-runner for Olympic gold.
And though marijuana use in the U.S. is even across the board regarding race, Blacks remain more likely to be arrested than whites for smoking.
But wait, there’s more.
Not only will Black America not have Richardson to cheer for, but the International Swimming Federation made it that much harder for swimmers with natural hair to compete on an even playing field by banning swimming caps made specifically for natural hair wearers.
And again, Black Twitter was not feeling it.
Some Blacks are already calling for a boycott of the games, which seems unlikely. But with a growing sense of unwarranted and/or unequal attacks and/or suspensions of Black athletes, a growing number of social media users are referring to the Tokyo Olympics as the Anti-Blackness Games, a moniker which may cause for a severe drop in viewers.