Sha’Carri Richardson is using her status as the world’s fastest woman to reclaim her name in the media space and uplift Black journalists.
Post her epic performance on the track, Richardson strolled past several outlets clamoring to get an exclusive soundbite from her. Instead, the 100m race winner hit them with a polite yet petty “No thank you!” before she kept it pushing. Footage from Richardson’s post-track behavior has gone viral on X and has been seen by over 8.6 million online users on the platform.
When the athlete did stop to comment on her successful run, she powerfully chose to express her thoughts to a Black journalist and Black outlet. Richardson spoke with a reporter from Television Jamaica, also known as TVJ.
“I feel amazing about my performance — amazing competition, amazing atmosphere,” the runner reflected. “Just knowing and just focusing on what it is we’ve been practicing all season long [for] when the time comes to accomplish what we need to accomplish,” she said.
The 23-year-old Texan playfully added a “Wah gwaan!,” stuck out her tongue for the camera and laughed before she stepped away from the outlet.
NewsOne highlighted that Richardson did speak with a “mainstream” outlet at some point.
Regarding the message her World Athletics Championships win sent, the 100m runner told the Associated Press in part, “Never allow media, never allow outsiders, never allow anything but yourself and your faith define who you are. I would say, ‘Always fight. No matter what, fight.'”
As MADAMENOIRE reported Aug. 21, the 23-year-old track and field sprinter achieved her latest best running time for the Women’s 100m race at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. The Texas native ran the race in an incredibly speedy 10.65 seconds. The 23-year-old track star’s feat made her the current fastest woman in the world.
Her victory beat her competitor — former world’s fastest woman, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price of Jamaica — by 0.02 seconds.
Many were first introduced to Richardson when her name had a meteoric rise and fall in 2021.
The athlete became America’s fastest woman and proclaimed herself as “That Girl” at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Her stellar performance got her selected to represent Team USA in that year’s Tokyo Olympics. Then, in a controversial decision, the sprinter was disqualified from competing in the Olympics due to a drug test that tested positive for THC. The disqualification sparked many headlines, discussions and backlash surrounding Richardson’s place in the sport.
The sprinter later shared that despite knowing the strict anti-doping rules she’d been bound to by her sport, she smoked marijuana following the death of her biological mother. Regardless, many online users lacked compassion and condemned the athlete’s way of coping with her loss. Others voiced their disappointment in Richardson for breaking the rules, which ultimately cost her a spot in the Olympics.
Now, as she basks in the victory of her World Athletics Championships win, how Richardson’s name was dragged in the mud only makes her latest achievement sweeter. Moreover, the athlete’s choice to speak with a Black journalist and outlet empowers her as she reclaims her narrative and how it’s disseminated. The choice also uplifts Black journalists and outlets — which are sometimes disregarded by celebrities seeking more “mainstream” attention. The phenomenon is one iOne Digital brands, including HelloBeautiful and NewsOne, have unpacked in the past.
Author and Former Associate Professor of Journalism at Temple University, Lori Tharps, previously spoke on the complicated dynamics of mainstream media and Black media.
“Mainstream media is still so lacking in Black representation — Black writers, editors, people in positions of power — that there’s just so much these media entities miss,” she told the Columbia Journalism Review in 2016. “The perspective in which they [the mainstream media] approach many stories are the perspective of a white audience, perhaps, and not necessarily a Black audience.”
Kudos to Sha’Carri Richardson for using her 100m success in Budapest to uplift Black representation in journalism. The athlete also spoke with a Black journalist, Tisa Rodriquez-Bose of Real Talk with Tee, after she won her first national title in June. Read more on that below.
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