Entertainment mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, further explained his comments on the criminalization of marijuana after he spoke out in support of track and field star, Sha’Carri Richardson. The 51-year-old sparked a discussion after his initial post shared empathy with the popular athlete after she was not selected to join the USA Track and Field team following a positive drug test for THC.
“It’s fuc*ked up and my heart is broken for @itskerrii,” he shared in a Twitter screenshot, using the broken heart emoji. He continued, “I’m tired of white people sitting in a room making up decisions that affect our hopes and dreams. They will keep treating our athletes like slaves and entertainment until we shut down on these people.”
He closed with the hashtag #LetHerRun three times. A few hours later, the producer added more context to his remarks about race and the legal use of cannabis.
“To be absolutely clear about my previous tweet, the point I’m making is that marijuana has been used against my people since some white people in an office (DEA/FBI) saw it as a way to entrap Black Jazz artists to shut down the movement happening in Harlem,” he wrote in the updated post.
“That’s the real reason why it started, you can research the history,” he continued. “It started from an evil plot, and now this plot is affecting our future. So many of our brothers, sisters, mothers, daughters, and sons are rotting in jail for marijuana and it’s JUST NOT RIGHT. Now, to see them using this against a young Black woman that is on the edge of her greatness, all because some white men decided to make it illegal is shameful.”
He continued to present the Michael Phelps (Olympic Medal Record holder for swimming) controversy as a basis for his push for Richardson. “Let me be very clear, marijuana does not make you run faster. That’s a fact. This whole situation is bullsh*t, and if they let Michael Phelps swim they should #LETHERRUN!!”
Despite Diddy’s use of Phelps as an example, the situations differ in facts. The retired Olympic swimmer was suspended for three months in 2009 after a photo surfaced showing him using a bong after the 2008 Beijing games. A statement released at the time by Team USA confirmed that although he was punished, the anti-doping rules were not broken.
“This is not a situation where any anti-doping rule was violated, but we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of USA Swimming member kids who look up to him as a role model and a hero,” the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based national governing body said. “Michael has voluntarily accepted this reprimand and has committed to earn back our trust.”
For Richardson, her 30-day suspension was issued after she tested positive for cannabis use during the Olympic Trials. As VIBE previously reported, the 21-year-old will officially miss the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after the team roster was revealed on Tuesday (July 6).
The USATF released a statement on the decision to exclude her from the team, although her suspension would have expired before the relay races.
“First and foremost, we are incredibly sympathetic toward Sha’Carri Richardson’s extenuating circumstances and strongly applaud her accountability – and will offer her our continued support both on and off the track,” the memo said. “While USATF fully agrees that the merit of the World Anti-Doping Agency rules related to THC should be reevaluated, it would be detrimental to the integrity of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field if USATF amended its policies following competition, only weeks before the Olympic Games.”
Diddy was not the only celebrity to speak out in hopes of USATF allowing Richardson to race despite the positive test. Actor Seth Rogan came to the track star’s defense on social media.
“The notion that weed is a problematic ‘drug’ is rooted in racism,” Rogen wrote in a Twitter post last Friday (July 2.) “It’s insane that Team USA would disqualify one of this country’s most talented athletes over thinking that’s rooted in hatred. It’s something they should be ashamed of.”
The notion that weed is a problematic “drug” is rooted in racism. It’s insane that Team USA would disqualify one of this country’s most talented athletes over thinking that’s rooted in hatred. It’s something they should be ashamed of. Also if weed made you fast, I’d be FloJo. https://t.co/swDLNoVcV3
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) July 2, 2021
Retired NBA star Dwyane Wade also added to the discourse. “But [a] majority of y’all rule-makers smoke and probably are investors in THC companies. Let’s stop playing these games,” he tweeted.