Before the Olympics, a panel of judges voted between 8 candidates to be the US flag bearer during the opening ceremonies. There was a tie between U.S. speedskater Shani Davis, a black man and U.S luger Erin Hamlin, a white woman. The judges settled the tie in the least biased way possible. With a coin flip.
The winner was Erin Hamlin. Shani Davis, was pissed, he immediately brought race into it, suggesting that the Olympics were ‘dishonorable’ and that it was black history month and so he should have won.
“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,” tweeted Davis who decided to boycott the opening ceremony.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t just Davis making this about race. Jesse Jackson decided to get in on the fun and attack the ‘racist’ coin toss. “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” he tweeted.
Would Jesse Jackson have made the same tweet has Shani Davis won the coin toss? Hamlin tweeted her joy of being able to be the flag bearer. “Beyond grateful to be a part of this team and incredibly proud to have the privilege of leading every amazing @TeamUSA athlete into that stadium tonight. Let’s do this!!,” she tweeted.