Track and field athlete Sha’Carri Richardson is demanding more respect from the press on behalf of her peers.
On June 26, Richardson competed at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships, where she missed her qualification in the 200-meter sprint ahead of the world championships. She refused to answer questions yet delivered a statement to journalists present at the event.
Richardson spoke out about how athletes are routinely treated during interviews at sports events and competitions.
“What I have to say, y’all can all take this interview and do whatever you want to do with it. I’m coming to speak, not only just on my behalf, but on all athletes’ behalf, that when you guys do interviews, y’all should respect athletes more. Y’all should understand them, coming from whether they’re 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,” she said.
“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 get something to put out in an article to make a dollar. Thank you,” added Richardson.
The 22-year-old left after giving out her statement. Online, the athlete kept her ground. She announced she will be launching her own platform fans to connect with athletes and learn more about the sport.
“Since you want to talk, I am coming out with my own platform so fans can really connect and learn the sport, as well as the athletes and the stories and questions put out is what the world actually want to know and it’s real, not sold for a dollar,” she tweeted after the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships.
It isn’t the first time that an athlete has spoken out about how they are being treated by journalists. Last year, Naomi Osaka shared she wouldn’t be talking to the press during the 2021 French Open. The tennis champion chose to prioritize her mental health – an initiative that was supported at the time by fellow tennis player Serena Williams.