If Sha'Carri Richardson and Naomi Osaka had any doubts about how much public support they're getting -- it's gone after the ESPY Awards, where host Anthony Mackie put a spotlight on them.
During his opening monologue, Mackie took a direct shot at U.S.A. Track & Field over its suspension of Richardson for a positive marijuana test. He joked, "The greatest celebration of sports is back! We up here on a rooftop in New York City. Man, we're so high they wouldn't let us compete in the Olympics."
The award show was held outdoors in NYC's Seaport district, and Mackie added, "How do you justify banning Sha'Carri Richardson for smoking weed? Weed is a de-hancing drug -- it doesn't make you do anything but want to watch another episode of 'Bob's Burgers.' You never saw Snoop Dogg run anywhere!"
The event was Sha'Carri's first public appearance since she got benched from the Olympics. Ditto for tennis superstar Osaka, who took home an award for Best Female Athlete.
But, even before she got the trophy, Mackie called out the World Tennis Association 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."
Interestingly, while Sha'Carri's shut out of the Olympics, Naomi will be there. She's playing tennis for Japan ... her mother's home country.
Unfortunately, the cheers she got at the ESPYs won't be repeated in Tokyo ... as all spectators have been banned due to Japan's surge in COVID-19 cases.