Are the 2021 Olympics Against Black Women?

By Xion Abiodun

For the past few weeks, the internet (at least the Black side of it) has been outraged over the Sha’carri Richardson situation. If you don’t know what happened, allow me to update you. The U.S. will not allow Sha’carri to travel to Tokyo to run in the Olympics, because she tested positive for marijuana in her system. Now some people may say “She broke a rule!” which is true, but so did other white runners who still get to participate. Not only that, she has also stated that she ingested marijuana after an interview, when a reporter informed her about her biological mother’s passing. Now in my opinion for a situation like that, she should be excused from that rule. What’s even worse is the fact that Tokyo would’ve allowed her to run, but the USADA are the ones blocking her from doing so. This is only one of many problematic situations that’s been happening concerning Black women and the Olympics.

The Tokyo Olympics first started receiving backlash when social media found out that athletes were prohibited from wearing Black Lives Matter apparel, taking a knee, or raising a fist during the national anthem. Yes it is true, that the Olympics have a rule that states: “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”, but I think we can all agree that being Black and saying that our life matters, because our people are being slain in the street everyday, is not racial propaganda; or kneeling to a national anthem that originally had a verse in it supporting slavery! Swim caps for African American women were also banned in the Olympics! Apparently they were banned because they don’t follow “the natural form of the head ‘’; if you want to talk about racist policies! It seems that no matter what, Black people are always getting penalized for our natural hair in “professional environments”.

CNN recently reported that the two Namibian sprinters, Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masiligi, will not be able to compete because their NATURAL testosterone levels were too high. This is not the first time this has happened though, back in 2018 the Olympic champion Caster Semenya was banned from competing in any future races, because the World Athletics ruled that in order for women with high testosterone levels to be able to compete they needed to take medication to decrease those levels. When Semenya refused to take the medication, she was banned from participating in any further Olympic games. She has taken her case to the European Court of Human Rights, but the case still has not been looked into, and most likely won’t be before this year’s Olympics. 

With everybody becoming aware of all these incidents many celebrities have spoken out against the Olympics, even non-Black ones. Black youth on social media have also shown that they stand in solidarity with the Black athletes that are being discriminated against. Some Black people have even suggested that we should all boycott the Olympics, to hurt advertising dollars. Will you be boycotting the Olympics? 

 

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