When you are an Olympic athlete, you are representing something bigger than yourself. You are representing the country. Most athletes understand that and try to comport themselves with dignity. But there was a little bit of a dust-up when the U.S. flag-bearer was chosen. Because there was a tie in the selection between luger Erin Hamlin and speedskater Shani Davis, they had a coin toss to make the decision. Davis lost the toss. And he wasn’t at all happy with it, so he boycotted the opening ceremonies calling the choice racist. Now, he’s being supported in the claim by none other than Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Davis called the choice ‘racist’ despite the fact that he apparently had agreed to the coin toss to break the tie.
He took to Twitter to attack the decision.
I am an American and when I won the 1000m in 2010 I became the first American to 2-peat in that event. @TeamUSA dishonorably tossed a coin to decide its 2018 flag bearer. No problem. I can wait until 2022. #BlackHistoryMonth2018 #PyeongChang2018 pic.twitter.com/dsmTtNkhJs
Jackson claimed that the coin flip was unfair to Davis and that they needed to find a different way to break ties.
“The choice to represent our country as #flagbearer in the @Olympics should never be determined by the flip of a coin. The Committee should immediately institute a more appropriate system to make such a significant determination. @ShaniDavis.”
While doing a Colin Kaepernick may go over in the NFL, it tends not to do well in the Olympics when you are supposed to be comporting yourself well on behalf of your country. It tends to make you look like a sore loser and it throws shade at the person who fairly won the coin toss.
Hamlin and Davis were among eight nominees for the flagbearer role, and athletes from each of the eight winter sports federations — bobsled and skeleton, ski and snowboarding, figure skating, curling, biathlon, hockey, speedskating and luge — represented those nominees in a balloting that took place Wednesday night.
Eventually, the final vote was deadlocked at 4-4. Hamlin won a coin toss, the predetermined method of picking a winner if all else failed in the athlete-led process. The U.S. Olympic Committee confirmed the tie, and that voters knew if the tie couldn’t be broken by them the coin toss would have to occur.
Neither Jackson or Davis have explained how a coin toss can be racist.
Some let Jackson know, that yes, it’s harder to get a fairer decision.
Meanwhile, four-time Olympian Erin Hamlin proudly carried the flag while Davis boycotted pretty much showing that the coin made the right choice.
One would have to think that Davis really didn’t help his chances to be picked in the future.
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]