American track and field star Sha’Carri Richardson revealed on social media that she recently walked away from an abusive relationship with a Jamaican athlete.
“I was in a relationship with a Jamaican athlete that never cared about me from jump,” Richarson wrote on Instagram. “I was abused and stole from yet protected her from the judgment of her country & family while they dragged me. I had to deal with homophobic and so much more that I’m still healing from.”
Richardson made headlines last year after she won the 100 meters in June 2020 with a time of 10.86 seconds — coming in 0.13 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Javianne Oliver at the Olympic trials.
At the time, she credited her then-girlfriend with helping to choose her hair color.
“She said it just spoke to her, the fact that it was just so loud and vibrant,” Richardson told USA Today. “She felt like [orange] was loud and encouraging and, honestly, dangerous… That’s who I am. She just wanted me to be able to make a statement — let’s continue to show the world I’m a force to be reckoned with.”
Things took a turn for Richardson when was forced to miss the Olympics after testing positive for marijuana. She was just 21 and at the time, second only in the world to Jamaican star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and was lauded as the “female Usain Bolt.”
“Nobody knows what I go through,” she said after qualifying for the Olympics. “Everybody has struggles and I understand that. When y’all see me on this track and y’all see the poker face that I put on but nobody but them and my coach knows what I go through on a day-to-day and I’m highly grateful of them. Without them there would be no me. Without my grandmother, there would be no Sha’Carri Richardson, so my family is my everything, my everything ’til the day I’m done.”