The Olympics is starting to look like it has a thing against Black women competing. I wrote that back when there were just a few of these issues and now there are more I want to add, “You think?”
See The Olympics Continues to Prevent Top Black Athletes From Competing for an analysis of the issues and a list of the athletes involved.
See also The Olympics Don’t Want Black Women To Win. Taryn Finley writes, “Sha’Carri Richardson, Christine Mboma, Beatrice Masilingi and others have been disqualified in the 2021 Olympics because of policies that are racist and unjust. There is no grace for for Black women at the 2021 Olympics.”
And then there’s this tweet which also lists the issues.
I know that some people want to say that these issues have nothing in common, that it’s not about race, it’s about rules that don’t mention race, but one thing all the cases have in common is that they target Black women Olympic athletes.
Ditto the swim cap story. There’s a lot of commentary that says competitive athletes would never wear such a swim cap since it would slow them down. Maybe that’s true. But if it puts someone at a competitive disadvantage, it’s hard to see why they’d be banned at the Olympics. It’s hard not to reach the conclusion that race is a factor and that the normative ideal of the Olympic athlete is white, in addition to being conventionally gendered.
Here are some of the relevant links:
You might also want to read some of the past posts about Caster Semenya from Fit is a Feminist Issue:
And finally a few more words from Twitter.