When everything may seem like it’s falling apart, that’s when a breakthrough is about to happen. As soon as you’re on top of the world, the easier it can be for people to try and tear you down.
But, Sha’Carri Richardson has made it known that she can turn any loss into a win. After being barred from competing in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic games due to testing positive for cannabis use, the world that was just praising Richardson for her insane talent had suddenly shut her out. This track superstar set social media on fire after setting the record for the U.S. Olympic track field trials with a 10.86-second run, but her victory was soon used against her.
According to dallasobserver.com., “Richardson accepted a 30-day suspension after testing positive for marijuana by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. She apologized to sponsors, family and fans with the promise of becoming a world champion soon. ‘I’m sorry, I won’t be able to be an Olympic champion this year, but I will be a world champion next year,’ she tweeted to fans.” After Richardson found out about the death of her biological mother, she smoked marijuana to cope with the loss and pain.
Despite being disqualified, Richardson immediately took responsibility for her actions and acknowledged the consequences that would come with it. Richardson truly handled the controversy and backlash with grace as she unapologetically remained true to who she is.
“There will be ups and down in life, but it’s important to remember to RUN YOUR OWN RACE.” — Sha’Carri Richardson
Despite this Olympic disqualification, Richardson was flooded with support from celebrities advocating for her to succeed and she was even offered a $250,000 brand ambassador contract by the vaping company Dr. Dabber, according to revolt.tv. But, the surprise that shocked fans was the announcement of Richardson being the new face of Beats by Dr. Dre.
In this surprise drop, Richardson is running a 100-yard dash wearing wireless earbuds from Beats by Dr. Dre’s new line. The ad also previews a new track by Kanye West titled “No Child Left Behind” which promotes his upcoming 10th studio album Donda. When Beats by Dre’s official Twitter account debuted the ad the caption said, “@itskerri doesn’t need you to let her do anything.”
.@itskerrii doesn't need you to let her do anything.
— Beats by Dre (@beatsbydre) July 21, 2021
Richardson immediately took to Twitter after the official ad released on it’s original platform and raved about the support she received from music icons Dr. Dre and Kanye West. She tweeted, “There will be ups and down in life, but it’s important to remember to RUN YOUR OWN RACE. Love to @beatsbydre and @kanyewest for the support.”
Richardson’s situation serves as a reminder to never give up on yourself even when it feels like your world is crashing down around you. She’s a symbol for standing in your truth, and a symbol of strength for younger generations.
In life you’ll make mistakes, but how you move forward from them truly speaks to your character. And like the famous quote states, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
By Kori Barnes, University of Nevada, Las Vegas