Sha'Carri Richardson, Naomi Osaka, Black Female Athletes Praised At ESPY's

Sha’Carri Richardson Makes First Public Appearance At The ESPYS, Naomi Osaka & Others Win Big

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Last night’s star-studded ESPYS Awards held at The Rooftop at Pier 17 at the Seaport in New York City on Saturday night was another glitzy celebration of our fave athletes hitting the red carpets in their best dressed and sharing classic sports moments from the past year on the biggest (and funniest) night in sports.

ABC's Coverage of The 2021 ESPYS Presented by Capital One

Source: Michael Le brecht / Getty

If Sha’Carri Richardson and Naomi Osaka ever questioned how much public support they’re getting, any doubts most definitely have to be gone after the ESPYS Awards, where host Anthony Mackie put a spotlight on them. Sha’Carri Richardson might have been one of the biggest and highly anticipated names of the night and it seems like everyone in attendance was exceptionally happy to see her there.

ABC's Coverage of The 2021 ESPYS Presented by Capital One

Source: Michael Le brecht / Getty

Babygirl won’t be able to showcase her colorful hair and long, embellished nails at the Tokyo Olympics due to testing positive for marijuana at the Team USA Olympic track and field trials in June, but she did show up to Saturday night’s event with fiery red hair and a bangin’, sparkly black dress. During the event, host Anthony Mackie showed his support for the 21-year-old sprinter and in his opening monologue took a shot at U.S.A. Track & Field over its suspension of Richardson for a positive marijuana test.

“USA Track & Field, how you mess that up?” Mackie later said. “Weed is a de-enhancing drug. It doesn’t make you do anything besides watch another episode of Bob’s Burgers. I don’t get how you justify not letting her run.”

Well, well, he does have a point, but we won’t get into all that right now. Mackie hasn’t been the only one speaking out and supporting Sha’Carri. Following the news of Richardson’s positive test, many celebrity fans and fellow athletes showed support of the track star, using the hashtag “#LetHerRun” and calling out the “outdated” rule against marijuana.

Sha’Carri sat down with The Undefeated after the awards show to recap the night and talk about her inspirations.

Not only was this the first public appearance for Richardson, since news of her suspension, but it was also the first time tennis superstar Naomi Osaka was spotted out after she withdrew from the French Open.

ABC's Coverage of The 2021 ESPYS Presented by Capital One

Source: Lorenzo Bevilaqua / Getty

Osaka took home an award for Best Female Athlete.

Host Mackie had some words for the World Tennis Association as well for not supporting her after she pulled out of the French Open and Wimbledon due to mental health.

“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, right? I’m just Captain America.”

Once again, our guy has a point but we digress.

Others in attendance for last night’s festivities were Da Baby presenting Lamelo Ball with his ESPY Award for Best Breakthrough Athlete. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who took home the award for Best Athlete, Men’s Sports and Best Team. Russell Westbrook, taking home the award for Best Record-Breaking Performance and also Stephen Curry, taking home the award for Best NBA Player. Check out some of the winners from last night below.

Best Breakthrough Athlete: LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets
Best Game: NCAA Men’s Final Four: Gonzaga (93) vs. UCLA (90)
Best MLB Player: Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels
Best NHL Player: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Best Driver: Lewis Hamilton, F1
Best WNBA Player: Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm
Best Boxer: Tyson Fury
Best Championship Performance: Simone Biles
Arthur Ashe Courage Award: Maya Moore
Women’s College Athlete of the Year: Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers is getting ALL the cookout invites after her acceptance speech btw.

She was vocal about how important it is to be recognized in a sport dominated by women of color and also mentioned how the media needs to shift their coverage to appropriately shine a light on Black female talent.

Check out the complete list here!

Were you watching The Espys Awards? What was your favorite part of the night? Let us know!

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