During “Sugar” Ray Leonard’s boxing match against Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, his trainer Angelo Dundee told him, “you’re blowing it now, son.”
Someone in track star Sha’Carri Richardson’s inner circle should tell her that she is blowing it also before it is too late.
When Sha’Carri Richardson got kicked off the United States Olympics track and field team for failing a drug test, many people around the country rallied to her defense.
People across all spectrums and demographics supported her because many believed that the rule which prohibits Olympic athletes from smoking marijuana was archaic, especially since marijuana is now legal in many states.
Richardson, 21, gained more fans when she handled that disappointment with maturity, grace, dignity, class and intelligence.
But Sha’Carri Richardson’s behavior and performance on the track have all nosedived since the moment that gained her so many supporters.
After finishing in last place in the 100 meters at a track meet on Aug. 21, she did not take the defeat humbly.
She instead appeared arrogant, even using profanity during a television interview, saying, “talk all the sh*t you want to.”
After that comment, many Jamaican track and field fans have talked a lot of trash to Richardson via social media.
Richardson has since liked an offensive tweet about people from Jamaica, after Jamaican sprinters finished in the top three of the 100-meter race, a race won by Elaine Thompson-Herah.
The offensive tweet read, “Not y’all Jamaicans still talking sh*t when y’all gotta walk barefoot to your coconut stand everyday for a living.”
In fairness to Richardson, she might have accidentally liked the tweet or someone on her staff might run her social media accounts.
Nevertheless, Richardson is the boss and must take responsibility even if liking the offensive tweet was an accident or the work of someone on her team.
When Olympic track legend Allyson Felix gave her some words of encouragement and support on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” she responded in a less than grateful manner.
Felix, who has won 11 Olympic medals, said about Richardson, “I know that she’s obviously been through so much and I hope that she’s just supported. I hope people rally around her. Obviously, she has a great personality and she’s brought a lot of attention to the sport, and I think she’ll be in the sport for a very long time. I think just more than anything, for all athletes, there’s so much that goes into it. Just give her the support that she needs.”
Many people would agree that Felix’s message was supportive of Richardson and positive.
However, Richardson obviously did not take it that way because she posted a negative message on Instagram saying, “Encouraging words on TV shows are just as real as well nothing at all.”
Unfortunately, after coming for Felix and Jamaicans, Richardson seems to be losing more support from the main people that defended her before the Olympics.
But hopefully she can find the right mentors to support her and correct her mistakes before she loses the support of her sponsors.
However, saying or co-signing bigotry has gotten many celebrities canceled.
And it would be a shame and a waste of talent for Sha’Carri Richardson to lose sponsorships and endorsement deals because of her recent words and actions.
She could become one of the greats of the sport.
And because Sha’Carri Richardson is so young, she has many track meets to show her greatness over the next decade.
Felix was able to win medals at the Tokyo Olympics as a mother and a 35-year-old.
Therefore, there is no reason why Richardson won’t be able to regain her dominance at other Olympic Games.
In fact, because of COVID-19, the next Olympics are only three years away as opposed to the customary four years.
However, Sha’Carri Richardson must get it together quickly because time ain’t forever.
As a young person, a decade or more seems like a long time.
But as a person gets older, they realize how short a time span that truly is.
One of the worst feelings to have is the feeling of regret.
One of the worst questions to ask is what if?
We hear what ifs all the time in the arena of sports and entertainment.
How dominant could Len Bias have been if he did not overdose on cocaine two days after the 1986 NBA Draft?
Could he have really been Michael Jordan’s equal in the NBA like he was in college at the University of Maryland?
The Boston Celtics won the NBA championship the season before drafting Bias number two overall.
Would the Celtics dynasty have continued into the 1990s with the addition of Bias and Reggie Lewis, who died from heart complications during his career with Boston?
How far in Hollywood and politics would Tupac Shakur have gone if he had not gotten into a fight at a Las Vegas hotel in 1996 that eventually led to his murder?
If Shakur had not gotten murdered, would Biggie Smalls still be alive?
How much money would they be worth today?
How would that wealth have changed their families and the Black communities as a whole?
Unfortunately, Bias and Shakur made one mistake that ended their lives and adversely affected the lives of all of those around them for generations.
People that support Sha’Carri Richardson must warn her about the dangers of mistakes and taking blessings for granted.
Blessings and opportunities are not guaranteed.
And when people do not appreciate their blessings and take advantage of their opportunities, God sometimes takes them away and gives them to others.
As of right now, Sha’Carri Richardson has not blown it.
But unfortunately, she is definitely in the process of blowing it unless she can learn from past mistakes and never repeat them again.