Michael Johnson hits out at ‘dumbassery’ accusations of ‘black racism’ leveled at him after he questioned world record 100m hurdles time set by Nigerian athlete Tobi Amusan… and insists abuse he received online was ‘unacceptable’
- Michael Johnson has been accused of racism after questioning a world record
- He thinks too many records were broken, suggesting problems with the clock
- Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan smashed Kendra Harrison’s 2016 100m hurdle time
- Amusan beat previous record by 0.08 secs at World Athletics Championships
- Johnson pointed out that he questioned other runners’ times besides Amusan’s
Track legend Michael Johnson has slammed ‘dumbassery’ accusations of ‘black racism’ directed at him after he raised questions about the legitimacy of Nigerian sprinter Tobi Amusan’s world record.
The 100-meter hurdler romped to victory in 12.12 seconds to beat Kendra Harrison’s 2016 world record by 0.08 seconds at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon Sunday.
Johnson took exception to the times recorded in the stadium, in which 12 athletes out of 24 in the semi-finals recorded their best ever times.
THE RECORDS BROKEN IN THE WOMEN’S 100M HURDLES SEMI-FINALS
Tobi Amusan 12.12 WR
Brittany Anderson 12.31 NR
Alia Armstrong 12.43 PB
Devynne Charlton 12.46 NR
Cindy Sember 12.50 NR
Megan Tapper 12.52 PB
Pia Skrzyszowska 12.62 PB
Michelle Jenneke 12.66 PB
Ditaji Kambundji 12.70 PB
Michelle Harrison 12.74 PB
Mako Fukube 12.82 NR
Marion Fourie 12.93 PB
*WR – World Record, PB – Personal Best, NR – National Record
The 54-year-old, who claimed four Olympic golds and eight World Championship golds in a stellar track career, took to Twitter after seeing how many athletes looked shocked at their own times.
But he was immediately hit with a backlash, and fumed in response: ‘The level of dumbassery coming across my feed right now is truly staggering!
‘As a commentator my job is to comment. In questioning the times of 28 athletes (not 1 athlete) by wondering if the timing system malfunctioned.
‘I was attacked, accused of racism, and of questioning the talent of an athlete I respect and predicted to win. Unacceptable. I move on.’
Initially, the American had written: ‘I don’t believe 100h (100m hurdles) times are correct.
‘World record broken by .08! 12 PBs (personal bests) set. 5 National records set. And Cindy Sember quote after her PB/NR (national record) ‘I thought I was running slow!’ All athletes looked shocked [sic].
‘Heat 2 we were first shown winning time of 12.53. Few seconds later it shows 12.43. Rounding down by .01 is normal. .10 is not.’
Amusan became world champion in an even faster time later in the day at Hayward Field but the time did not count towards records due to a hefty tailwind.
Michael Johnson questioned the validity of Nigerian athlete Tobi Amusan’s world record
The BBC pundit and former track star was accused of ‘black racism’ on social media
But fans on social media were not happy with Johnson for mentioning Amusan’s world record, with one accusing him of ‘black racism’.
The Twitter user, calling himself Slim Daddy, wrote: ‘Michael Johnson are you naturally this dumb or do you have to put in effort?
‘Why don’t you channel your energy to recover from your stroke you Black racist!
‘Tobi Amusan is a world record holder and there’s nothing you can do about that.’
Another said: ‘Just because it’s not an American WR doesn’t mean the times were incorrect,’ while one added: ‘Did you question the record when an American breaks the record?’
Amusan annihilated Kendra Harrison’s 2016 world record by 0.08 seconds at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon
One Twitter user claimed Johnson might have been seeking revenge after USA were stripped of the 4x100m Olympic title in 2000 and Nigeria took gold instead.
Athletics fans have hit out at Johnson for casting doubt over the accuracy of Amusan’s time
Johnson branded the backlash he received as ‘unacceptable’ and pointed out that he did not only question Amusan’s time.
One Twitter user claimed Johnson – who now comments for the BBC – might have been seeking revenge after USA were stripped of the 4x100m Olympic title in 2000 and Nigeria took gold instead.
‘The US 4x400m team that had Michael Johnson was stripped of the Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medal because Antonio Pettigrew confessed that he doped during the competition,’ the Tweet read.
‘The Nigerian team was eventually awarded the gold medal. Do you understand his bitterness now?’
Johnson won four Olympic golds and eight World Championship golds in a stellar track career