Although reactions to the International Olympics Committee ruling runner Sha’Carri Richardson ineligible for the 2021 Summer Games have been split, the colorful athlete has at least one powerful ally in her corner: Sean “Diddy” Combs, who tweeted his support for her and condemned her 30-day suspension for the use of marijuana.
Stating that his heart was broken for her, he noted, “I’m tired of white people sitting in a room making up decisions that affect our hopes and dreams. They will keep treating our athletes like slaves and entertainment until we shut down on these people!”
He then compared the judgment against her to the racist results of the US’s so-called War on Drugs, pointing out parallels that allow for the unfair treatment of people using a non-dangerous substance which was criminalized mainly due to its association with use by Black people. “So many of our brothers, sisters, mothers, daughters, and sons are rotting in jail for marijuana and it’s JUST NOT RIGHT,” he wrote. “Now, to see them using this against a young Black woman that is on the edge of her greatness, all because some white man decided to make it illegal, is shameful.”
He also noted that there’s no real reason for THC to disqualify anyone from competing because, as he wrote accurately, “Marijuana does not make you run faster.” He also noted a discrepancy between the treatment of Richardson, a Black woman, and Michael Phelps, a white male swimmer who was also previously allowed to compete after testing positive for THC. While the circumstances aren’t exactly apples to apples, his point still seems valid.
Richardson was determined to be ineligible for 30 days, beginning June 28, after qualifying for the Olympics with a 10.86-second 100-meter dash time. Unfortunately, most of that month overlaps with her events and she was not selected for the Women’s 4 x 100 relay. She said that she took marijuana to cope with the recent death of her mother. Other supporters have included Seth Rogen, who also pointed to the discrepancy in calling weed a performance-enhancing drug, joking, “If weed made you fast, I’d be FloJo.”