Celebrities are voicing their opinions after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency suspended Sha’Carri Richardson for a positive drug test.
The USADA announced the suspension Friday after a marijuana was found in her system, invalidating Richardson’s performance at the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, where she won the women’s 100-meter dash. The suspension will also prevent the 21-year-old from competing in her signature event at the Tokyo Olympics later this month.
Richardson issued an apology on NBC’s “Today” show on Friday morning, taking responsibility for the positive test.
“I know what I did. I know what I’m supposed to do. I know what I’m allowed not to do, and I still made that decision,” she said.
Richardson said on the show that she ingested marijuana after an interview with a reporter in which the reporter informed her that her biological mother had died. She said it was a heavy emotional burden for her on the eve of her first Olympic trials, where she was considered the heavy favorite, and that it sent her into a state of “emotional panic.”
Celebrities including Seth Rogen, Gabrielle Union and Jonathan Van Ness took to social media Friday sending love to Richardson while also calling the USADA’s decision “insane” and “dumb.”
Rogen, who owns his own cannabis company, said the decision was “rooted in racism” and “hatred.”
“The notion that weed is a problematic ‘drug’ is rooted in racism,” Rogen wrote. “It’s insane that Team USA would disqualify one of this country’s most talented athletes over thinking that’s rooted in hatred. It’s something they should be ashamed of. Also if weed made you fast, I’d be FloJo,” he said, referencing Florence Griffith Joyner, an all-time-great Olympic runner to whom Richardson has been compared.
Former NFL player and interim host of “The Bachelor: After the Final Rose” Emmanuel Acho tweeted about both decisions.
“Suspending athletes for smoking weed in 2021 is dumb. Smoking weed knowing you will be drug tested is also dumb,” Acho wrote.
“To punish this incredible athlete for cannabis??,” “Queer Eye” style expert Jonathan Van Ness wrote. “We love you @itskerrii”
“I stand with Sha’Carri!” Billy Porter wrote.
Gabrielle Union showed her support, writing: “LET HER RUN!!”
Former “Star Trek” star George Takei showed his support as well. “Look, they once found trace amounts of THC in my blood and they still let me pilot the Enterprise,” he wrote.
“marijuana is NOT a performance enhancing drug,” wrote pro-skier and “American Horror Story” actor Gus Kenworthy.
Fox News personality Katherine Timpf called out those supporting Richardson’s suspension.
“Irked by anyone who says Sha’Carri shouldn’t be able to compete because those are The Rules,” she wrote. “Like okay, sure, but The Rules here are irrational, so let’s change them! Respecting The Rules just because they are The Rules makes you a (sheep).”
Contributing: Charles Trepany, Tyler Dragon, Tom Schad