American sprinter Sha’Charri Richardson, who is sitting out the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after a controversial suspension for a positive marijuana test, has drawn mixed reactions after hailing Jamaica’s clean sweep in the women’s 100m.
Contender Richardson could only watch from afar as arch-rivals Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce met in the final, with the 2016 champion retaining her title by breaking Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 33-year-old Games record to storm to victory in 10.61 seconds.
Thompson-Herah even had time to raise her arm before she crossed the line as she became the second-fastest woman in history, with some commentators and viewers suggesting that she had been given noticeably muted, belated congratulations by her compatriots, including third-placed Shericka Jackson.
Their frustrated American absentee had earlier asked whether she was “missed” at the showpiece, leading to accusations of a lack of respect despite Richardson’s admiring reaction to the breathtaking race.
Congratulations to the ladies of Jamaica for the clean sweep. Powerful, strong black women dominating the sport. ✨
— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) July 31, 2021
“Congratulations to the ladies of Jamaica for the clean sweep,” responded the fourth-fastest American woman in history, whose month-long suspension over her positive test for the banned substance expired at the end of the week. “Powerful, strong black women dominating the sport.”
Richardson has been accused by some of taking digs at her rivals in the past, and music stars Beenie Man and Nicki Minaj appeared to take aim at her as they celebrated a unanimously green, black and yellow podium.
🚨| @NICKIMINAJ throws shade at the rising track star Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) after she was suspended from competing in the #Olympics. Nicki also disses her on Instagram: “Some stinkin gyal cyah relate”Is the 38 year old rapper mad about the young athletes tweets? 👀 pic.twitter.com/p4RUlw4S7p
— #1 Female Rap Source (@TheFemaleSource) July 31, 2021
“How wi fi miss yuh?” asked the dancehall favorite, adding the hashtag ‘Jamaica’.
Chart-topper Minaj retweeted Beenie Man’s post, calling the trio’s achievement “queen tingz”.
“You b*tches can’t relate – and that’s OK,” she jibed, later adding: “Some stinkin gyal cyah relate.”
Richardson has described Trinidadian-born Minaj as “kind of annoying” in the past, as well as threatening to block fans who “post Nicki all day long”.
all the negativity under a tweet uplifting other black women is very odd lmao
— 𝖇 (｡•̀ᴗ-)✧ (@bxzoldyck) July 31, 2021
“All the negativity under a tweet uplifting other black women is very odd,” laughed one fan, causing another to reply: “Maybe if she had tweeted this earlier instead of her first tweet, the responses would have been different.”
A critic told Richardson: “Was wondering if you knew the word congratulations. This was what we were looking for when Shelly [ran] 10.6 [seconds], instead of making it about yourself.”
On their behalf we thank you and take your comment in the in the spirit it was intended. You earlier showed us ur true spirit. We genuinely hope that this new position means that u have got help either from a publicist, a therapist or a medic. All of Jamaica wishes you well too.
— DeborahHicklingGordon (@debhickG) August 1, 2021
Get back to me when she apologizes for what she’s said about these same women in the past. Just because she hired a PR person to finally act like a decent person doesn’t negate what she did before.
— Author Sasha Strachan (@sasha_author) August 1, 2021
Some were more supportive. “Wonderful tweet from a beautiful young lady,” reacted a Richardson backer. “Some of you on [social media] need some serious help.
“Sha’Carri tweeted something positive and here you all come with the bull. If you don’t like her, scroll and move on.”
A Jamaican said: “On their behalf, we thank you and take your comment in the in the spirit it was intended. You earlier showed us your true spirit.
Wonderful tweet from a beautiful young lady! Some of y’all on her need some serious help! Sha’Carri tweeted something positive & here y’all come with the bull! If you don’t like her, scroll & move on!
— Tamra (@mai2tys) July 31, 2021
Maybe if she had tweeted this earlier instead of her first tweet, the responses would have been different.
— shantelee Brown (@brownshantelee) August 1, 2021
“We genuinely hope that this new position means you have got help either from a publicist, a therapist or a medic. All of Jamaica wishes you well, too.”
Thompson-Herah admitted after the race that she reads negative comments and uses them as motivation, and Fraser-Pryce, who is now a mother and veteran of four Olympics, confessed there would be tears when she returns home.
“Every time I step on the track it’s to win, but this time it wasn’t god’s will,” she reflected. “I’m still so grateful to be apart of this historic moment.
“Gracing the podium in a one-two-three sweep for Jamaica on two separate occasions is a tremendous blessing.”