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#pounditMonday, July 22, 2024

Sha’Carri Richardson is trying to lead a track and field revolution

Sha'Carri Richardson at a track event

May 9, 2021; Walnut, CA, USA; Sha’Carri Richardson (USA) celebrates after winning women’s 100m heat in 10.74 during the USATF Golden Games at Hilmer Lodge Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sha’Carri Richardson is dissatisfied with the way things work for USA Track and Field, and she is trying to lead a revolution in the field.

Richardson, a 23-year-old sprinter, has been vocal on social media lately ahead of the USATF Outdoor Championships, which are taking place July 6-9 in Eugene, Ore. Richardson is upset both about the pay and lack of TV exposure for the event.

In one tweet, Richardson complained that the prize for winning a U.S. national track championship was less than what Joey Chestnut earned for winning the hot dog eating competition at Coney Island.

“USATF Championship this weekend first place only gets $8,000. What would y’all do if decide to boycott because the disrespect is bold now. Then see us at meets and try to smile in our faces when half of the athletes you speak to are the same people y’all are hurting!!” Richardson tweeted.

Richardson has also complained via Instagram about the championships airing on CNBC rather than NBC.

The former LSU athlete has decided to use her social media platforms to try to arrange meetings between her and several other track and field athletes. Her idea was to have athletes convene while in Oregon to discuss business.

In an Instagram post ahead of her planned meeting on Wednesday, Richardson said she had over 160 athletes express interest in talking.

“Thank you so much for connecting. More than 160 athletes in our sport are interested in discussing our future,” Richardson’s Instagram caption said.

“Due to so much interest in coming together in Eugene and trying to accommodate everyone, I am looking to hold a meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, July 5, 2023 but need an official headcount along with time and location preferences.

“Please fill out the following form as soon as possible, so that I can confirm the details.

“Remember: This ATHLETE’s ONLY meeting will be a safe space for us to discuss what’s important to us. I am so excited to hear and share how we can make our sport better.

“Also, feel free to share topics in advance so that we can make sure we discuss.”

Richardson has complained that the big names in track and field are all retired. She believes those big-name athletes are not helping the current competitors.

“These are the same people that benefit from this corrupt system,” Richardson said in an Instagram video posted on Wednesday.

Richardson seems to be working on the beginnings of a track and field athlete union. How far the movement goes and what changes it results in remains to be seen, but this will be something to watch. Richardson has become known for being outspoken on many topics, so it’s no surprising she’s outspoken about this too.

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