Re: “Olympics miss the mark on inclusion” [July 11, Opinion]:
The most significant story of this moment after a year of racial reckoning is the continuing institutional degradation of Black women athletes even as their achievements are celebrated. A few examples must be noted: the banning of sprinter Sha’carri Richardson, the barring of two Namibian runners for their testosterone levels and the banning of swim caps designed for natural Black hair. As ground- and air-breaking gymnast Simone Biles pointed out, there were no women athletes, period, in a February ESPN SportsCenter image of the greatest athletes of all time.
In addition, there is the negative reaction to the expression of her First Amendment rights by U.S. hammer thrower Gwen Berry, protesting the national anthem as have many athletes of all races and creeds the last few years to highlight racial inequality. And tennis tournament organizers’ fining of Naomi Osaka by asserting her right to not speak by skipping news conferences.
The inequities of racism as it has been practiced in this country and in the world will require a constant lens of focus if they are to be resolved. Listen to the voices of these young women greats. Hear their truths. Be inspired by them.
Mark Epstein, Seattle