Sha’Carri Richardson can be celebrated and challenged at the same time

It's so much fun to make things complicated online, you guys.

A few days ago, I shared with you that ShaCarri Richardson had an excellent opportunity to silence her critics in the 100m dash at Saturday's Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.


The truth is, she didn't. She was very poor. She was last, running an 11.14. This time was not nearly the Olympic trial time of 10.86 in June or the spring time of 10.72 which proved to be the sixth fastest in women's history.

Richardson was Richardson after her performance. She was confident, direct and unapologetically her self. She let the world know she was still that girl.

You can see that jokes were quickly spread on social media. As with every major athlete who fails to make it big in a momentous event, there was a lot of mockery and scrutiny.


Many Black women, sports and non-sports lovers, attempted to defend Richardson, feeling that the criticisms of the 21-year old were too harsh and mean-spirited. Many people felt that Richardson was being targeted, as she is a Black woman who expresses exactly what she feels.


On Saturday, Richardson was a man I had a lot respect for. It takes courage to remain true to yourself, even when faced with adversity. After finishing last, she could easily have given up and gone back to her shell. But she did not. In each interview with the media after the race, she was consistent and confident in herself. Respect that.

However, this doesn't excuse her from the fact she must get back into the lab. It is clear that whatever she did in the last month didn't work. You can't talk as much about this race as she did. Otherwise, the slander will follow. This applies to any athlete, or any human being.


This is the nature of being an unapologetic, brash individual on the biggest stage in the world. Richardson is capable of handling it, I believe.

It is important to recall everything that Shell has been through, including the loss of her biological mother and the drama surrounding her missing the Olympics. Shell will be able get back to her elite sprinting career once she is able focus on her training.


We all want her to succeed. ShaCarri winning a medal at the next Olympics or world championships (which are less then three years away) would be a great comeback story. She isn't there yet and it will take more work to back her up if she wants to silence her critics.

Let's not make it too difficult for our fans. Richardson is a star for her self-belief and confidence, but Richardson can also be praised for being challenged to do better.