Sha’Carri Richardson still backed by Nike, Internet says brand ‘only cares about bottom line’

In a statement, Nike said, 'We appreciate Sha’Carri’s honesty and accountability and will continue to support her through this time'


                            Sha’Carri Richardson still backed by Nike, Internet says brand ‘only cares about bottom line’
Sha'Carri Richardson celebrates winning the Women's 100 Meter final of the 2020 US Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 19, 2021, in Eugene, Oregon (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Sha’Carri Richardson might have been one of the promising stars for the Tokyo Olympics later this month till she tested positive for cannabis and had to face a 30-day ban. Despite that, it looks like she is not going to lose her Nike sponsorship as the brand appreciates her "honesty and accountability". On social media, however, this has received mixed reactions. 

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The sportswear giant said it would continue to sponsor the sprinter after she was handed a one-month ban by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for testing positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana. As per the ban, Richardson will miss out on competing in the 100-meter sprint at the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, but she could still be part of the relay team at the Games (as the ban will have expired by the time it is run). 

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In a statement, Nike said, "We appreciate Sha’Carri’s honesty and accountability and will continue to support her through this time." The brand has been with the athlete since 2019. 

Sha'Carri Richardson reacts after competing in the Women's 100 Meter Semi-finals on day 2 of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 19, 2021, in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

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Even though a cursory look at Twitter will show many social media users celebrating the fact that Nike decided to not leave Richardson's side, there are some who claimed to see straight through the sports giant's business tactics. 

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"Nike ain’t stupid. They know she’s a big time athlete and a big part of their future track brand," one user wrote. "Nah fr! They would lose a lot of customers behind it too. They know wassup," another added. Another user added, "Corporations only care about their bottom line."


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Who really is the winner in this situation, one asked. "Lol y’all were just bashing Nike for dropping Allyson Felix for being pregnant & now y’all praising Nike for continuing to sponsor Sha’carri. Nike only looking out for Nike." Another user wrote, "Same w the Kap situation.. Nike just making business moves," referencing the Colin Kaepernick situation. In 2018, Nike released an ad featuring Kaepernick with the text, "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything." 

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At the same time, there are those who think this continued association will be good for Richardson herself. "Of course, they are. That bag fitting to be huge!!! That failed drug test may be the thing that pushes her into icon status. She just became bigger than track and field," one user wrote. 

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Over the weekend, Richardson had taken to her Twitter page to get back at those who had criticized her actions. She wrote, "The support (heart emojis) my community I thank y’all, the negative forget y’all and enjoy the games because we all know it won’t be the same. I’m sorry, I can’t be y’all Olympic Champ this year but I promise I’ll be your World Champ next year." She added, "All these perfect people that know how to live life, I'm glad I'm not one of them!" Richardson had previously said in a tweet, “I am human.”

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During an interview on the Today show last Friday that she was “triggered” by the death of her mom. In an "emotional panic," she said she took marijuana which resulted in her failed drugs test. "I apologize for the fact that I didn't know how to control my emotions or deal with my emotions during that time. Who am I to tell you how to cope? Who am I to tell you you're wrong for hurting?” She added, "I just say don't judge me because I am human. I'm you, I just happen to run a little faster."

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