Sha’Carri Richardson appears to be performing for headlines now.
For months, the track and field athlete has teetered between sympathetic character and off-putting personality. When the Olympics banned her for a positive marijuana test earlier this summer, Richardson received grace from the nation. However, since that news first thrust Richardson into the spotlight, her public character has been anything but tasteful.
On Tuesday night’s episode of The Jimmy Kimmel Show, hosted by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Olympian Allyson Felix joined the program, and Smith asked her about the Richardson controversy — one of the first major storylines to come out of the Tokyo Olympics. Felix smiled and gave an encouraging message to Richardson, supporting the struggling athlete and expressing confidence that Sha’Carri has a long career ahead of her in the sport.
“She’s obviously been through so much. I hope that she’s just supported. I hope that people rally around her. Obviously she has a great personality, and she’s brought a lot of attention to the sport. I think she’ll be in the sport for a very long time.
“I think just more than anything, for all athletes, there’s so much that goes into it — we just, you know, give her the support that she needs.”
Felix’s graciousness was on full display throughout the response, as she wished Richardson the best — which makes Sha’Carri’s response on Wednesday a bit of a head-scratcher.
Richardson posted stories on Instagram that were a not-so-subtle dig at Felix. In them, Richardson accuses Felix of insincerity with a post that reads, “Encouraging words on TV shows are just as real as well nothing at all.”
Allyson Felix offers Sha’carri Richardson words of encouragement on Jimmy Kimmel and Sha’carri throws shade saying that “it’s not real”.— Delonté (@dilemmv) August 25, 2021
This is the woman y’all stan on twitter. pic.twitter.com/vpPfjM1aPp
Sha’Carri Richardson willingly took a shot at Felix and ignored the impact that the 11-time Olympic medalist has had on women’s track and field over the years.
Richardson’s new claim to fame now seems to be creating theater off the track whenever her personal performances are subpar. From sympathetic character to comeback kid to cocky competitor, Sha’Carri Richardson is finding ways to fall out of national favor, all in pursuit of publicity.
The language was very unnecessary. I wished she would have took the high road and not make it about her. Just thank the supporters, the sponsors/endorsements and congratulate the winner. It's not hard! It's called "Professionalism" It's true she's not done, but be an example!— Demetra Mcknight (@1demetra) August 21, 2021
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela