Sprint icon accused of being ‘black racist’ – RT Sport News


Michael Johnson has been pilloried online for his comments about Nigerian Tobi Amusan

Track and field legend Michael Johnson, who is black, has hit out after being accused of ‘racism’ for questioning the streak of record times achieved at recent world championships in Oregon, including the hurdler Nigerian Tobi Amusan.

Johnson, a four-time Olympic gold medalist who also won eight world championship titles in his career, said in his pundit role on TV and social media he suspected faulty timing clocks could be to blame after Amusan crushed the women’s 100m hurdles. world record in his semi-final, while half of the rest of the field also set personal bests.

Amusan appeared as shocked as anyone to break the record set by American Kendra Harrison in 2016 by 0.08 seconds, in a race that was almost three-tenths of a second faster than she had ever recorded before in her career. .

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Johnson, however, was skeptical and took to social media soon after to voice his opinion.

I don’t believe the times of 100h are correct“, Johnson wrote on Twitter. “World record broken by .08! Set of 12 PB. 5 National Records established. And Cindy Sember quote after her PB/NR ‘I throughly [sic] I was running slowly! All the athletes looked shocked.”

Round 2 first showed us a winning time of 12.53. A few seconds later, it displays 12:43. Rounding by .01 is normal. .10 is not“, he added later.

Amusan ran even faster in the final, clocking 12.06 – although this did not count for a world record as he was assisted by the wind.

The Nigerian later said that the brand of shoes she wore, which were designed for longer distances and which she wore due to a heel injury, may have helped her in her day.

It was the second time in a week that a hurdler broke a world record wearing similar shoes.

Johnson, however, has been accused of trying to discredit Amusan’s record.

“Michael Johnson Are you naturally that stupid or do you have to try hard?” one person wrote on Twitter.

“Why don’t you channel your energy into recovering from your stroke, black racist!” Toby Amusan is the world record holder and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Another wrote: “If Michael Johnson had a problem with the timer or clock, he would just review and check with his own timer or sumn. But no, he had to open his mouth waaa and discredit Tobi Amusan’s victory.”

“The level of stupidity being encountered on my feed right now is truly staggering!” Johnson hit back online, also adding that the torrent of accusations thrown at him were unacceptable”.

“As a commentator, my job is to comment. By questioning the times of 28 athletes (and not 1 athlete) wondering if the timing system was malfunctioning, I was assaulted, accused of racism, and of questioning the talent of an athlete whom I respect and whom I predicted winning. Unacceptable. I continue.”

Johnson is no stranger to world records, or even what it takes to achieve them.

The 54-year-old is widely regarded as one of the best sprinters in history and previously held world records in the 200m and 400m, and was also the only male athlete to win both events at the same Olympics – a feat he achieved in Atlanta in 1996.

He has worked as an expert for the BBC since 2001.

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