Back in June, Sha’Carri Richardson caught the attention of the country by qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in the 100 meter sprint. She clocked an impressive 10.86 time. She quieted the naysayers who looked down their noses at her bright-colored weave, long nails and eyelashes. She exhumed unabashed confidence and did not hold back in her joy. She especially struck a chord with me when she embraced her grandmother shortly after winning the race:
Now I’ll tell anybody – I am a proud supporter of American and Jamaican (and Israeli) athletes in the Olympics. That isn’t the case for all of my family though. A bit after her win, a cousin of mine posted this video on social media:
Fast forward to August 22. The Olympics are over and the Jamaican women just dominated the 100m. Sha’Carri has returned to competition to run up against them in the Prefontaine Classic; where she came in last. Now, let me say that I am not a fair weather supporter. Everyone has bad days. But Sha’Carri’s response was just off-putting. Well – you can judge for yourself:
Sha’carri Richardson after the race: “This is one race. I’m not done. Count me out if you want to … Talk all the shit you want to! You know what I can do!” pic.twitter.com/xlmJzpDd2D
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 21, 2021
(or a more humorous take…):
— RP Animated (@RPAnimated) August 22, 2021
Ok. So at this point it is still funny. I mean, it seems like Sha’Carri let her disappointment and emotions take over, and did not interview the best. It happens. But then, even days later, there was this:
Allyson Felix offers Sha’carri Richardson words of encouragement on Jimmy Kimmel and Sha’carri throws shade saying that “it’s not real”.
This is the woman y’all stan on twitter. pic.twitter.com/vpPfjM1aPp
— Delonté (@dilemmv) August 25, 2021
What? You still feel some kinda way about losing? And I’m not the only one who has picked up on this. As annoying as ‘cancel culture’ is, maybe we/I should have been a little bit more deliberate before jumping on the bandwagon. I mean Emmanuel Acho said it back in early July – she hasn’t really won anything outside of collegiate competition. There is a lot of talk about what she can accomplish and her potential. But let’s be real here. Allison Felix, Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce all have more medals and accolades – but yet are not grandstanding half as much as Sha’Carri. A dose of humility may go far for her in this instance.