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Sha’Carri Richardson is not shy.
The U.S. sprinter has remained in the news since her ban from the Olympics after a positive marijuana test, thanks in no small part to her vibrant personality. For some, her latest foray into the headlines is a step too far.
She appeared to take a shot at Allyson Felix on Wednesday. In track circles, this equates to high crime.
So what happened?
Richardson trended on Twitter Wednesday thanks to her apparent response to comments Felix made to Stephen A. Smith while he was guest hosting "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Tuesday. At the end of the interview, Smith asked Felix for her thoughts on Richardson, whose tumultuous last few months also included the death of her mother.
“She’s obviously been through so much,” Felix said (7:08 above). “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.”
It was the type of dignified response that's come to be expected of Felix, who transcends her status as track royalty to the short list of all-time Olympic greats. The 11-time Olympic medalist and seven-time Olympic champion collected her hardware across five Games. She won her first medal as an 18-year-old in Athens in 2004 and her presumed last in July in Tokyo as a 35-year-old mother who's used her platform to change the game and the business for mothers in sports.
In short, hers is one of the most respected voices not only in track, but in all of sports. And Richardson was not hearing it.
Richardson: 'Be a good person, but ...'
On Wednesday morning, she posted this on an Instagram story.
"Encouraging words on tv shows are just as real as well nothing at all," Richardson wrote.
That post dropped just hours after Felix's interview aired on ABC. It's not hard to do the math. She followed that post up with this:
So, yeah. Richardson's not backing down in the face of some intense backlash on Black Twitter and track Twitter.
It's not clear if there's more to Richardson's beef with Felix behind the scenes. She's not saying. For now, at least. Meanwhile, she appears to be very much here for the heat. Her Instagram story was still live as of the time of this post.
"Talk all the sh*t you want" - Sha'carri Richardson pic.twitter.com/XQRzy1cODn
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) August 21, 2021
"Talk all the s*** you want," Richardson said after the loss. "Because I'm here to stay. I'm not done. I'm the sixth fastest woman in this game ever. Can't nobody ever take that from me."
When Twitter had jokes for her last-place finish, Richardson played along.
😂😂😂I’ll triple your whole year salary if you can 😂 https://t.co/jJ8udedMuS
— Sha’Carri Richardson (@itskerrii) August 22, 2021
Her talent, confidence and personality have garnered her plenty of fans and goodwill. She's testing both by going after Felix.
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