Why Twitter Is Seeing Red Over Olympian Megan Rapinoe's Cannabis Endorsement

Runner Sha'Carri Richardson made national headlines after she was not selected to compete at the Olympics due to a positive drug test. The controversy saw the 21-year-old being suspended after she was found to have THC in her system, which is found in marijuana (via Today).

Now, fellow Olympic hopeful and soccer star Megan Rapinoe is facing backlash in light of the decision around Richardson not competing in Tokyo (via NBC News Chicago). That's because the U.S. Nationals Team forward is speaking out about using CBD, or cannabidiol, an active ingredient found in cannabis, as part of her training program, which seems to fly in the face of Richardson's suspension (via U.S. Soccer, Harvard Health, and Forbes). As Revolt notes, Rapinoe's sister is behind Mendi, the line of products, including CBD gummies, her soccer star sibling says she uses (via The Wrap).

On Twitter, people are pointing out the seeming double standard applied to Richardson and Rapinoe, with one person tweeting, "So @itskerrii usage wasnt [sic] ok but megan rapinoe can ... America your racism is showing."

THC is banned while CBD is not but Twitter doesn't care

More Twitter comments followed, as critics noted how unfair it seems to celebrate one athlete's cannabis usage, while condemning another's. "There is little to no difference between smoking weed & popping CBD gummies, & the fact that Megan Rapinoe & other white Olympians are openly doing interviews about their consumption when Sha'carri Richardson was barred shows how racist & sexist the #Olympics are to black women," opined one dismayed social media user.

"One rule for one, a different rule for another," the Sports Joe Twitter account commented. Indeed, many more Twitter users weighed in with similar comments on Rapinoe's treatment versus Richardson's on the issue of cannabis usage.

But as The Wrap notes, THC, which is found in marijuana, and CBD, found in hemp, a sister plant of marijuana, are different. The former is banned by the Olympic committee, while the latter is not. 

Megan Rapinoe defended Sha'Carri Richardson

Twitter is still enraged despite the distinction being made between THC and CBD, as pointed out by The Wrap. "Even if this is abt CBD (not banned) & not THC (banned, what Sha'Carri tested positive for), the argument for banning THC is that its [sic] a performance enhancer for its relaxing & analgesic properties, which can also both b achieved w CBD use. The double standard continues to apply," one person tweeted.

Likewise, activist Malynda Hale tweeted, "Look I know it's the difference between CBD and THC that got @itskerrii banned from the Olympics but Megan Rapinoe getting a whole article about her CBD regimen in Forbes rubs me the wrong way."

To be fair, although Rapinoe is being demonized over her endorsement of CBD products, when Richardson was banned from the games, the player took to Twitter to support the runner, commenting, "This is trash. Standing with @itskerrii [100 percent]. This has BEEN outdated" (via Vanity Fair).