Simone Biles, Sha’Carri Richardson, and How the Olympics Failed Black Women
August 12, 2021
Every two years the Olympic Games promise to be historic. Athletes defy odds, break records, and achieve feats unimaginable to most of us. But the 2020 games have consistently made headlines for the wrong reasons, particularly for the US Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee’s poor treatment and discrimination of athletes, especially Black women athletes. From Sha’Carri Richardson’s pre-Olympic suspension for smoking legal marijuana to the International Federation’s ban on swim caps designed for natural Black hair, or from the testosterone testing of two Namibian runners to the decades long abuse, lack of accountability, and disregard towards the mental health of athletes.
The stories are almost too many to keep track of, but thankfully Ria Tabacco Mar, the Director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project helps us parse through what we’ve watched unfold.