Caster Semenya goes down in history as the first black South African woman to bring home gold.
But the haters gonna hate, right?
Joanna Jozwik, the Polish athlete, who placed 5th in the race has claimed that she feels like a “silver medalist.” Not only did Jozwik dismiss an entire continent, she also dismissed an entire race by claiming to have finished as the “first European” and the “second white” in the race. It’s too bad Jozwik doesn’t have the medal to validate her feelings of achieving Olympic Silver.
— Melvin (@MTKigz) August 22, 2016
@Sisonkemsimang She was running against a competitor who has a pair of balls, in a woman’s race. Nothing to do with race, or privilege.
— MacTatty (@Alpharettan) August 22, 2016
Caster’s win has certainly dredged up old controversies.
There is contestation on whether or not Caster Semenya is hyperandrogenic: hyperandrogenism is the term used to describe disproportionate productions of testosterone in women. Semenya has been reported to be hyperandrogenic in a number of news articles.
And as South Africa basked in the shadow of Caster’s gold, elsewhere, Caster was deemed to have an unfair advantage over the rest of the field.
Ah it’s the 800m not 400. Either way that half man Caster Semenya has an unfair advantage. That medal is tainted.https://t.co/BE9dsL4p03
— Jason (@EnemyWithinn) August 21, 2016
Let’s backtrack here.
In 2011, the IAAF released a ruling that deemed female athletes with hyperandrogenism eligible to compete in the Olympic Games.
Rules are rules and whether Semenya is hyperandrogenic or not, her eligibility to compete in the Olympics is undisputed.
But it wasn’t just the tweeting naysayers who rained on Caster’s parade.
Lynsey Sharp, the British athlete who placed sixth in the 800m final is all over the news following her show of emotion over the difficulty of competing against athletes who are believed to be hyperandrogenic.
After the race, Sharp broke out in white tears and the world rushed to pass her a tissue. And no, white tears is not just a blanket term used to describe when white people cry. White tears is not even necessarily tears, but a currency that certain white people use to express indignation over successes of a non-white person, or nonexistent racial injustice.
Does Lynsey Sharp, in her bullying of other athletes, realise that she was nowhere near a medal?
— Siphumelele Zondi (@SZondi) August 21, 2016
We’re not actually all that surprised that white tears brought the world to its knees.
White privilege is coming in *6th place* and blaming the Black winner’s ‘masculinity’ for your failure to medal. pic.twitter.com/Ruw4EtFRLX
— Ari C. (@lit_ari_ture) August 21, 2016
— Ranjeni Munusamy (@RanjeniM) August 21, 2016
One has to admire Queen Caster, whose only response to the vitriol and the tears was: “It’s all about loving one another. It’s not about discriminating people. It’s not about looking at people [and] how they look, how they speak, how they run. You know, it’s not about being muscular. It’s about sports. When you walk out of your apartment, you think about performing. You don’t think about how your opponents look. You just want to do better. I think the advice to everybody is to go out and have fun.”
Take notes, haters.