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Sha'Carri Richardson is still welcome at the 2021 ESPYS.
On July 10, the track and field star was spotted in the audience of ABC and ESPN's annual award show. During Anthony Mackie's opening monologue, the host delivered a special message for the athlete who will no longer be competing at the Tokyo Olympics.
"Sha'Carri Richardson is here. Louisiana's finest, LSU track star," he shared with the audience. "USA Track and field, how do you mess it up, dawg? How do you justify banning Sha'Carri Richardson for smoking weed?"
The actor continued, "Weed is a dehansing drug. It doesn't make you do anything, but want to watch another episode of Bob's Burgers. I mean, you never saw Snoop Dogg run anywhere. I don't know how you justify not letting her run."
Back on July 6, NBC News reported that Sha'Carri was not selected for the U.S. 4x100 meter relay team, despite winning the 100-meter race during the Olympic trials in June. She faced a one-month ban after testing positive for marijuana, which violates the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code.
In a candid interview with Today's Savannah Guthrie, Sha'Carri admitted to making a mistake.
"I want to take responsibility for my actions," she shared. "I know what I did, I know what I'm supposed to do, I know what I'm allowed not to do, and I still made that decision." The choice, explained by the NCAA champion, came after learning during a mid-interview that her biological mom had passed. Hearing the news from a reporter one week before the Olympic trials sent her into a state of "emotional panic."
During Anthony's opening monologue, the actor also shared his support for Naomi Osaka, who chose to briefly step away from tennis to focus on her mental health.
"I don't know how you punish Naomi Osaka for prioritizing her mental," he told the star-studded audience. "That's crazy. I'm no tennis exec, I don't know. But if my sport had one of the most popular and marketable athletes on the planet, you know what I would do? I would probably make sure she felt comfortable and respected. But hey, what do I know? I'm tripping, right? I'm just Captain America."
During the show, Naomi would end up winning the award for Best Athlete, Women's Sports.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony airs Friday, July 23 on NBC.