After failing to qualify for the 200-meter final Sunday to end her hopes for an individual medal at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson gave a statement to reporters asking for more respect in media coverage.
“I’m coming to speak, not just on my behalf but on all athletes’ behalves, that when you guys do interviews, y’all should respect athletes more,” Richardson said. “Y’all should understand whether they’re coming from winning, whether they’re losing, whatever the case may be. Athletes deserve way more respect than when y’all just come and throw cameras into their faces.
“Understand how an athlete operates and then ask your questions. Then be more understanding of the fact that they are still human, no matter just to the fact that y’all are just trying to put something out in an article to make a dollar. Thank you.”
Richardson, 22, walked out of the mixed zone interview area where reporters were gathered and did not take questions after she fell short of making the US team for next month’s world championships. Richardson had advanced Saturday to the semifinals, though she finished with the 10th fastest time (22.69) of four heats. In every semifinal Sunday, Richardson was fifth in 22.47.
Kentucky’s Abby Steiner won the 200 final in 21.77, recording the fastest time in the world this year. Steiner chased down Tamara Clark and Jenna Prandini in the final 50 meters with Clark finishing in a personal-best 21.92. Prandini finished third in 22.01.
The 200 finalized a rough US meet for Richardson, who bombed out of the 100-meter competition, every signature event, after just the first round on Thursday night.
It has been quite the reversal for Richardson at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships after a successful showing at the inaugural NYC Grand Prix earlier in June, where Richardson won the 200 in 22.38 seconds, and came in second in the 100 in 10.85, which was her season-best heat.
Richardson had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the 100 but did not compete after testing positive for marijuana. She was handed a 30-day suspension that kept her out of the event in Tokyo, and she was also left off the US team as part of the relay pool, although each suspension would’ve been completed by the time of the 4×100 relay.
Contributing: Lindsay Schnell, Associated Press