Sha’Carri Richardson electrified the sports world with her athletic ability and her bold, unapologetic Blackness, causing many to harken back to the late Florence Griffith-Joyner. While Richardson seemed poised to hoist gold meals high at this year’s Summer Olympics, the track and field star was suspended after testing positive for marijuana, and reactions on Twitter are passionate as expected.
Several outlets reported on the findings of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which announced Richardon’s test results to the public on Friday (July 2), sparking discussion about whether or not Richardson will be present at any of the events in the games in Tokyo. Richardson turned heads and became a fan favorite after winning the 100-meter race at the U.S. Track and field trials in Oregon last month. With the positive result from the marijuana, Richardson’s win was struck from the record books.
Richardson has not ducked any of the criticism that has come down, doing so while speaking exclusively with TODAY earlier Friday, and stated that she took to using marijuana to cope with the stress of losing her biological mother while she was competing in the trials. What’s more, the track star learned of her mother’s passing from a reporter at the Oregon event. Recalling the moment, Richardson expressed what went through her mind at the time of that shocking revelation.
“It sent me into a state of emotional panic,” Richardson said. “I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time.”
Also on Friday, Richardson accepted the terms of a 30-day suspension by the Anti-Doping Agency and apologized to her supporters and community at large.
“I apologize. As much as I’m disappointed, I know that when I step on the track, I don’t represent myself. I represent a community that has shown me great support, great love, and I failed you all. So I apologize for the fact that I didn’t know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions. I greatly apologize if I let you guys down, and I did,” Richardson concluded.
On Twitter, fans are rallying around Sha’Carri Richardson, while also decrying the fact that marijuana usage would not grant her any more speed over other competitors. Others are even calling race into the equation as Richardson is a Black woman who clearly lives her life out loud. There are even some in social media who took note that more people were celebratory of Bill Cosby’s recent release from prison on a technicality but slamming Richardson’s drug use to the point of hateful admonishment.
Check out the reactions from all sides below.