The pedestal Americans placed Sha’Carri Richardson on is crumbling in real-time today (August 25) after the athlete shaded prolific sprinter and decorated Olympian Allyson Felix.
Richardson, seemingly reacting to Felix’s guest appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show last night, claimed that her words of support were ‘not real’.
Asked by Stephen A. Smith what message she would like to send to the 21-year-old, Felix replied, “I know that she’s probably been through so much but I hope that she’s supported. I hope people rally around her. She has a great personality; she’s brought a lot of attention to the sport and I think she’ll be in the sport for a very long time.”
“For all athletes, there’s so much that goes into it—so give her the support that she needs,” Felix continued.
Richardson, in response, wrote in an Instagram story earlier Wednesday, “Encouraging words on tv shows are just as real as, well, nothing at all.”
Suddenly, Americans across all sections of social media are at a loss for words, as they struggle to process what has unfolded.
Among the questions, the most asked are whether Sha’Carri Richardson has a PR team and why she seems hell-bent on isolating herself from everyone, colleagues, sponsors and fans alike?
For others, the blame fell squarely at the feet of the United States, whose people gave Richardson the impression she could do no wrong through American eyes.
Now that the ‘Pandora’s Box’ is opened and chaos reigns, why are they so shocked?
“Can’t help but think that y’all gassing Sha’Carri up so much has contributed to this.” @RezistansM tweeted.
The realisation that something seems ‘off’ about the young talent has left Americans bewildered, particularly following the subtle jab at compatriot Felix—the most decorated female athlete in history with 11 Olympic medals.
“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 man, @RVAReid tweeted.
The ‘subbing’, as it is called within the Twittersphere, is not an insular occurrence, since Richardson was also previously dismissive of other American athletes following her one-month suspension for a positive cannabis test back in June.
Back in July, when Americans threatened to boycott the Olympics over Richardson’s ban, sprinter Gabby Thomas pleaded for more support, to which she later subtweeted, “The attention that is on track now was because of very very few names. So if that’s where fans support lay, you can’t be mad at that.”
For Jamaican Twitter users, the wave of backlash left them bemused, as it came hours after renewed outrage over Richardson liking a xenophobic tweet that implied Jamaicans were ‘barefooted coconut crusaders’.
“Not y’all Jamaicans still talking [expletive deleted] when y’all gotta walk barefoot to your coconut stand for a living,” the controversial tweet, a mainstay in American barbs to Jamaicans on Twitter, read.
Seems the young Richardson is yet to recover from the roasting Jamaican Twitter served up after she was smoked in the women’s 100m at the Nike Prefontaine Classic last Saturday.