Maria Sharapova failed a drug test at the Australian Open earlier this week. She tested positive for Meldonium, a substance typically used to treat cardiac patients and not legal in the United States. It’s, also, used as an enhancement performing drug throughout Europe. This isn’t the first time an athlete has tested positive for PED’s. However, this IS the first time an athlete wasn’t dragged through the mud or lost endorsements.
So we’ve heard her at her press conference “accepting responsibility” for her actions. We’ve heard her sorry ass apology. We, also, heard that she didn’t know that the substance had been banned THIS year. Uuuum OKAAAAY. She is a world-renowned tennis player. A supposed superior athlete (she doesn’t even deserve to carry Serena’s tennis bag but ok) who was unsure that a substance which she had been taking for over a decade was no longer acceptable therefore continued to take it. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!
Who’s on her team?
Marion Jones could have surely used them. Granted she did go to prison for perjury but she was demonized by everyone AND stripped of gold medals and accolades. Many athletes are guilty of this. Mark McGwire was looked at and even admitted to anabolic steroid use (years later) during the time that he played baseball. He lied for many years and then decided to come clean. He wasn’t stripped of any titles or his home run records. Nobody talks about it anymore. Michael Vick was dropped by Nike with no problem. Maria Sharapova has been “put on hold” by Nike for the moment but not dropped.
Although she will be banned from competing in tennis, Head racquet company is STILL moving forward with her endorsement for their rackets. Because according to them, it was an “honest mistake”. A mistake of which she had been warned FIVE TIMES about. Cry me a river.
The way my empathy is set up… I can’t continue to ignore the blatant double standard between black and white athletes when something bad happens. She is worth $80 million and ONLY $7 million of that comes from her actually playing tennis. The difference comes from endorsements which she still seems to have. How is she being punished again? She is a cheater and a liar and with the exception of a few players, folks feel sorry for her. Even Serena Williams, who has been accused of using steroids, came rushing to her side. Fuck outta here!
This latest “upset” in the sports world just reiterates how white privilege is literally quilted into the fabric of our very existence. Here’s the kicker. Maria Sharapova doped up for ten years and supposed “white excellence” was still just plain old mediocre against Serena Williams.
Was it REALLY worth it, Maria?