The world championships are just two months away, and it seems that last year’s guffaw (by no fault of her own, and by every fault of archaic governing bodies that often extend white athletes the benefit of the doubt, while knocking Black athletes at every turn) has not deterred Richardson from shining. On top of the incessant chatter and not-so-subtle racism constantly pelted at her, as The Root reported, Richardson also revealed that she had been healing from an abusive relationship with another woman athlete prior to the race. “I was in a relationship with a Jamaican athlete that never cared about me from jump,” she wrote in an Instagram Story in mid-May. “I was abused and stole from yet protected her from the judgment of her country & family while they dragged me. I had to deal with homophobic and so much more that I’m still healing from.”

The 24-year-old Janeek Brown, a Jamaican track star, recently went live on Instagram where she identified herself as the woman Richardson referred to and confirmed the abuse.

“I admit I was abusive once that there is physical evidence of…And we moved on…I was trying to move on and we still got nowhere,” Brown said.


For Richardson to make a comeback like she did this week is a feat of its own. She’s overcome death, racism, domestic abuse, homophobia, and has had her appearance and body poked and criticized as part of the larger sexualization of Black women. As pointed out by Ms. Magazine, her subsequent wrist-slapping by the media was reminiscent of how institutions treated Florence Griffith-Joyner, who was called a “glamourpuss” for her “four-inch, tiger-striped nails” during the 1988 Olympic trials.

Now, at 22-years-old, we can’t just let Sha’Carri run. We have to let her run as herself: ultra-feminine, muscular, tattooed, and with her hair however she fucking pleases. She told us from the very beginning she was “that girl.” It’s hilarious to think anyone ever had any doubt.