Eleven-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix is a hot topic, but when she was recently questioned about another sizzling subject, her remarks seemingly garnered a lukewarm reception.
During an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show — currently being guest-hosted by Stephen A. Smith — Felix weighed in on Sha’Carri Richardson. The 21-year-old track hopeful’s last few months had been thrown off course by a failed drug test, which found her suspended from competition for 30 days and ultimately eliminated from the Tokyo Olympic Games entirely.
Additionally, the Texas native suffered a devasting loss in her comeback meet on Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. Richardson finished in last place in the women’s 100 meters as Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah dominated the race. The two-time Olympic gold medalist ran the second-fastest women’s 100 meters in history in 10.54 seconds, topping the 10.61-second time that earned her her second Olympic gold medal in last month’s Tokyo Games.
Furthermore, crowd support on social media also seemingly shifted on Richardson, although many fans still used their platforms to show support and uplift the former Louisiana State University star. When asked what remarks she’d like to contribute to the growing discussion, Felix acknowledged the young athlete’s unsettling past several weeks and said, “I hope that she’s just supported. I hope people rally around her.”
She added, “Obviously, she has a great personality, and she’s brought a lot of attention to the sport, and 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. Just give her the support that she needs.”
Wednesday morning, Richardson took to her Instagram Story, where she seemingly responded to Felix’s interview. In her first post, Richardson looks to be driving. At the bottom of the screen the caption read: “Encouraging words on tv shows are just as real as well nothing at all.” In a later post, she shared a quote that read “Be a good person, but don’t waste time proving it.”
The athlete’s dismissive responses could be attributable to a few comedowns she’s experienced following her loss to some of the Jamaican stars. First, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who finished second in the Prefontaine race, laughed right at the camera when NBC interviewed Richardson after her last-place finish on Saturday. Richardson later changed her Twitter avatar to a shot of Fraser-Pryce laughing at her. More recently, she was offered an all-expenses-paid trip to Jamaica by a Jamaican hotel owner, which many online found to be a veiled slight.
Yet, in this case, social media sided with Felix. Many found Richardson’s reaction unprovoked, including media personality Scottie Beam, who wrote, “Someone needs to pull Sha’Carri to the side. Hoping someone helps her.”
Another person commented, “(If this is real) 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.”
“Black Twitter Had Sha’carri’s Back & Now She Wanna Disrespect THEE Allyson Felix? Who May Have Not Personally Called You But At Least Showed Support For You On National Television??” wrote a third. “Tuh.”
The internet now seems to be giving up on the athlete whose ongoing media behavior has drawn mixed reactions. “Welp, my time defending Sha’Carri is over. It’s been fun. Prayers down” commented another. The post garnered over 4,200 likes on Twitter and nearly 700 retweets.