On Tuesday evening, Thomas posted several tweets that spoke volumes.
“It really hurts to see so many black people choosing not to watch the Olympics this year,” tweeted Thomas. “There are so many black athletes who have put in YEARS of hard work for this moment- myself included. We want your support.”
“Additionally, I worry some of the anger and disdain may be misplaced. The ”Olympics” and those at the IOC have nothing to do with current events taking place.”
In her tweets, one can surmise Thomas was referencing the Sha’Carri Richardson situation. Not too long before Thomas’ tweet, news broke that Richardson will not run in the 4×100 relay at the Tokyo Olympics. Last week, Richardson test positive for THC, a chemical found in marijuana.
And it’s banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Because of this, Richardson was subject to a 30-day ban. And she accepted it. Both sets of news sent social media into a frenzy. Many in the Black community posted they’re not watching the Olympics. In their eyes, it’s the form of support for Richardson.
Well, what about Gabby Thomas?
Isn’t she deserving of her community’s support? Let’s run down who Thomas is.
Gabby Thomas, like Sha’Carri Richardson, is Black Girl Magic, too.
Gabby Thomas, 24, graduated from Harvard University in 2019 with a degree in neurobiology and secondary in global health and health policy.
Currently, she is pursuing a master’s degree in epidemiology and health care administration at the University of Texas in Austin. That alone is worth a mic drop. Like, does anything else need to be said?
However, let’s continue.
Thomas carries a feat that is most pertinent at the moment. And that is, she’s an elite sprinter. And like Richardson, her eyes, too, were set on the Tokyo Olympics. Unlike Richardson, however, she will be there.
On June 26th, Thomas became the second-fastest woman ever in the 200-meter race. She smoked the competition with a blazing time of 21.61 seconds en route to qualifying.
Read that again.
Gabby Thomas is the second-fastest woman EVER in the 200-meter race. Only Florence Griffith-Joyner ran a faster time.
Think about that for a second.
A Black female Harvard graduate entered the conversation with the likes of FloJo, in the middle of pursuing her master’s degree. How is that even possible? Along with that, she will represent the US in the 4×100 relay race.
Unfortunately for Thomas, if her referenced tweets come true, she will lack support from the Black community later this month. Many of “her own” will not witness her Black Girl Magic on the biggest stage of her life.
Her hard work, her dedication, and her sacrifice will go unnoticed. And it’s sad because Gabby Thomas is the definition of Black Girl Magic.
Several other Black Olympians will lack support over an inconsistent community.
Now, this is no disrespect to Sha’Carri Richardson. Losing a parent is never easy, and she stated why she failed her drug test. She took responsibility. She accepted the ban.
And kudos to her for that. It’s admirable. Several years from now, Richardson will return probably better than ever.
In the meantime, why punish Thomas?
Why punish Simone Biles? She’s arguably the greatest gymnast of all time. And at 24 herself, it likely her last Olympic games.
Where is the support for Christine Mboma? Mboma is an 18-year-old Nambiana track phenom who recently destroyed the world Junior 400m record. And due to her naturally high testosterone levels, she’s disqualified from the 400m race at Tokyo. Where are the memes of support over her disqualification.
Isn’t she Black Girl Magic, too?
Why withhold support for the many other Black women competing later this month over one woman who accepted fault for her mishap?
People are entitled to do and feel however they want. It’s their right. Mull this for one second before pulling your support. If deciding not to watch the Olympics over a person who broke the rules demonstrates support for Black Girl Magic, maybe the term is misguided and nothing more than a social media pun.
If Gabby Thomas isn’t Black Girl Magic, I don’t know what is. And if anyone pulls their support from her now, retire the term.