On Sunday, (July 4) a post from the official Instagram account of the Black Lives Matter movement called on its more than four million followers to show their support for American track star Sha’Carri Richardson in a most unconventional way.
Richardson has been given a one-month suspension after her drug test came back positive for marijuana. As a result, the promising athlete will not be participating in this year’s Olympic Games.
According to USADA, marijuana is a prohibited substance because it can enhance performance, poses a health risk to athletes and its use violates the spirit of the sport.
Richardson had admitted to the drug use, saying it was her way of coping after the unexpected death of her biological mother who had abandoned her as a child.
And after much debate about her suspension online, the Black Lives Matter movement, whose mandate is to bring justice to black people across the globe chimed in with this; “F**k the Olympics, we are in solidarity with Sha’Carri Richardson.”
But the movement’s call to action did not elicit a favourable response this time around. In fact, many expressed their outrage at the message.
“This is an irresponsible message. She took accountability for her actions and we should still support the athletes going in her place,” one person wrote.
I feel y’all. But as an athlete in the game I have to be honest and let y’all know this whole ordeal isn’t about race,” three-time Olympic medalist, Will Claye commented.
“Wait wait who said eff the Olympics?! So the internet stopped caring about Simone?! Allyson Felix? Simone Manuel? Raven Saunders? Eff nothing lol. It’s still Team USA,” another person said.
“Rules are rules. She accepts her punishment. Michael Phelps got 3 months when he fcked up, she got one month,” someone added.
“I support my brothers and sisters but this time she was wrong,” another pointed out.