Home Featured Were Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells Justified in Their Lolo Jones Comments?

Were Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells Justified in Their Lolo Jones Comments?

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Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells, the 2012 olympic silver and bronze medalists in the 100m hurdles, sat down for an interview on the NBC Sports Network and shared their thoughts on the media coverage of Lolo Jones. If you heard it already, awesome. If not, you should know that it wasn’t more than a few seconds before their frustration hit the air waves — well, Harper more than Wells…

“I just felt as if I worked really hard to represent my country [in 2008] in the best way possible. And to come away with the gold medal, and to honestly seem as if, because their favorite didn’t win all of sudden it’s just like, ‘We’re going to push your story aside, and still gonna push this one.’ That hurt. It did. It hurt my feelings.”

Wells went a different route with her comment:

“I think that on the podium tonight, the three girls that earned their spot and they got their medals and they worked hard and did what they needed to do prevailed. And that’s all that really needs to be said.”

Harper chimed in after Wells with “boom” and that was the dynamite.

For as long as I’ve been watching track, I can’t say I’ve seen an interview like this. Part of me understands the frustration of having your accomplishments pushed to the side in favor of what appears to be “the bigger story.” That’s life. I also think there’s a time and place for everything, but that this interview wasn’t it. Melinda T. on our Facebook page succinctly summed up my thoughts on the segment:

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All I could think was “damn” after watching that. They might have a hard time getting endorsements after that display of bad judgement.

My guess is they won’t be on a Wheaties box anytime soon, but maybe that’s not important to them. Maybe all they wanted was a little bit of respect. What say you though? Do you think they were right in their comments, or that they should’ve canned the snark? How would you handle a situation like this if it happened in your life? I know that for some of us, this happens every day…just not at the olympics. Check out the footage below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

 

Comment(74)

  1. Yes. They need to take PR lessons from Usain Bolt. Although he is cocky, he can back it up and is interviews are always class acts.

    1. Apparently you missed the interview where he ripped in Carl Lewis. Is that "classy?"
      Also, the ladies were not "cocky." Cocky ain't classy. And they did back up their words.
      Perhaps you're too blinded by Lolo-mania to see what's right in front of you.

      1. Not sure how many companies are in the business of endorsing bad sportsmanship! We shall see…

        Good Luck Dawn and Kellie, you're gonna need it!

      2. he blasted Carl Lewis because Carl Lewis accused an entire country of doping its track stars, while Lewis himself has three failed drugs tests. Is that classy? And Bolt was told in that moment about Carl Lewis' remarks and reacted.

        I don't know what to think about Dawn and Kellie, other than that next time they all gather for that next meet, the tension will have to be cut through with a knife. And the sad harsh truth is that neither one won a Gold, so this will impact their endorsements above all else. Harper was a Gold medal winner last time around and it doesn't appear that her endorsements had more than a bounce.

      3. Shane,

        If you were a gold metalist and a legend of track and field comes out and accuses you of cheating to win, what are the odds that you would come back and respond saying "I have no respect for you?' I don't think it is classy for someone to accuse another of cheating without solid evidence.

    2. Well said! He just exudes awesomeness without putting anyone else down. Those two women just came off as jealous, catty poor sports. If I were a female athlete, the last thing I would want would be to be described as “catty” or “jealous.” Way to play into stereotypes, GIRLS!

  2. To an extent I could understand Dawn Harper being upset about this whole situation b/c she won the gold in the last Olympics, but this Kellie chick is another story to me. This was her first Olympics so of course she came in with nobody knowing who she was until now, but I honestly feel like she's ruined all chances of people wanting to get to know her because she has this bad attitude. Even if they're competing against each other at the end of the day you're teammates. Nobody should be going around throwing shade b/c I sure as hell don't hear that from ppl like Carmelita Jeter, Allyson Felix, or Sanya. We get upset when ppl in the Black community want to talk about Gabby's hair, but then we turn right back around and try to down someone else when we don't get our way. They need to step back and reevaluate their sportsmanship b/c at the end of the day Lolo will have her endorsement deals. What about them?

  3. Those comments were just stupid. some Pr person should have pulled them aside and told them not to take that bait. Let you racing do the talking for you and instead of talking about someone else, use that interview to promote yourself and the graceful powerful athletes they are

  4. I have no problem with what they said in the interview. If they miss out on endorsement deals because of this, that's on them. I wouldn't have handled the situation the way they did….but that's what separates them from me. I would let my performance do the talking for me.

  5. That was the worst summary of events….

    How would I handle a situation like this? I'm not the kind of person to honestly say my feelings are hurt nor am I the kind of person to allow someone else to take away from what who I am and how hard I work and what my dedication to my goals accomplished. I am however, the kind of person who is so humble no one knows who I am until I get tired of the bullsh*t. and no. It isn't about the money. It's about the recognition and acknowledgement. Black women are human beings too.

      1. LOLOL!!!!

        Yeah, no. Let me rephrase that.

        I'm generally a quiet person who never showcases who I am and keeps in the shadows and who never admits to anything that is a product of my hardwork, I choose instead, to let others reap the benefits and get the glory. but when I get an influx of criticism in my altruism and/or an influx of intentional avoidance of my awesomeness to a degree it negatively impacts me………I am on some other worldly attack mode which I deem righteous indignation. No one knows who I am. Just because I state my personal fact doesn't mean I'm not humble. It just means I want you to know who you're talking to without you knowing exactly who you're talking to.

        but I get it. I just want people to get my depth and range is nearly infinite. by my own standards I AM being humble. Pff. *dials up everyone else so that I'm not as offensive*

  6. At the end of the day, that’s your teammate *T.O. tears*, they only said what we were all thinking but they should know better. Not to mention Lolo is giving them shine, we wouldn’t know Lochte if it weren’t for Phelps, we wouldn’t know Blake if it weren’t for Bolt, we pick our sweethearts you can’t demand to be one.

    1. Amen Tristan! If Dawn and Kellie are as good as they say they are, then they should be happy with the fact that they won the medals and not what someone else is getting. I mean…you are coming to the games to win/medal right? Mission Accomplished!

  7. I think you hit the key issue Tristan, the media and the public choose who our darlings are, not celebrities themselves. You can’t force yourself to be liked or loved. There’s a mysterious ‘lightning in a bottle’ effect in the PR and public image arena, but usually demanding the public love you isn’t part of the formula.

  8. All they needed to do was talk about their experience and thier happiness of medaling. They didn't have to sit their and a refer to anyone. It's a shame when your own people will go in on you because you are the favorite. There is always going to be one, as well as those standing behind them with their lip turned up. It is what it is.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate,
    Tiffany

    1. Tiffany did you not notice that the white commentator was the one who mentioned Lolo? Wells and Harper didn't.
      They simply pointed out that the media was chasing "marketable faces" instead of athletic accomplishment. In entertainment that is acceptable, but not in sports. Why are so many people finding it so hard to see that?
      Guess a pretty face blinds people.

      1. But if they were in the mindset of sportamanship, they wouldn't have said the comments that they said Shane. They should have known that Lolo was going to be mentioned. You don't see Mark Sanchez disrespecting Tim Tebow in public even though it's got to be eating him alive. Choice of words Shane, when you are in the media and in spotlight at anytime, you have to be on top of it or you get ripped apart. Lolo herself was on PRI and they asked her about the disrespectful comments and Lolo handled it like a real champion. That's why Lolo will keep having plenty of sponsors paying her bills and six figure salary while Harper and Wells will eventually have to pick up jobs.

  9. Eeeeek! They may have been justified in their comments, but the platform to say it was all wrong. Sportsmanship sprinkled with a little bit of class will get you far. Save all that other stuff for when you’re not being interviewed…

  10. This is all I heard listening to that interview:

    All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my uncles. I had to fight my brothers. A girl child ain't safe in a family of men, but I ain't never thought I'd have to fight in my own house!

    And when you think about it, that's exactly what they said. #aintnobodygottimeforthat

  11. I’m having technical difficulties commenting so I’m just going to copy and paste a few Tweets I sent on this subject yesterday:

    @WisdomIsMisery: I think they have every right to be upset but they’re directing their anger at the wrong person/entity IMHO

    @WisdomIsMisery: basically the media (and sponsors) turned ALLEGED USA Olympic TEAMMATE against one another so they could have a story.

    @WisdomIsMisery: the only one benefiting from the BS is the media – via ads, page clicks, and recycled stories they can now push

    @WisdomIsMisery: how many athletes are their at the Olympics? But suddenly the story is “o look at these women fighting like high schoolers”

    @WisdomIsMisery: I’m disappointed these women had an opportunity to positively represent themselves AND the US on a national stage

    @WisdomIsMisery: Instead they’re acting like puppets and sending subliminal shots like this is Bad Girls Club London Olympics. It’s sad.

    Sorry for the break up but I’m mobile. Anyway, this basically sums up my thoughts and it includes these women AND Lolo who hasn’t been above we subliminal pop shots either. What was really enforced for me here is athletes, even Olympic athletes, are often not given the proper training to speak and represent themselves well in public. When the media picks up on this they often turn them into sideshows of their own making. I have more thoughts on this but they’re not popular or politically correct, so unlike these athletes, I’ll keep those thoughts to myself.

  12. I also observed another interesting phenenomenon on the Olympic homepage, which I captured on Twitter. I felt Lolo was, at best, frustrated in her interview after having lost in the Olympics (again) and being eviscerated by the New York Times in the same week. Interestingly enough, the NBC Olympics homepage, which I’m sure receives millions of views worldwide described Lolo as “angry” and “lashing” out. Not even their media darling was above being described in strong adjectives, to say the least, that seem to fit a larger narrative about (certain?) women who openly express themselves. On the SAME website but buried in the track & field section, NBC describes Lolo as simply “emotional” when introducing the exact same video. Coincidence?

    Homepage – http://twitter.com/WisdomIsMisery/status/23338356
    Track & Field – http://twitter.com/WisdomIsMisery/status/23338525

    1. I noticed the same exact thing and immediately felt that I was "reading between the lines" of the media on several levels: (1) with the advent of new technology, NBC wants a storm of viewers on their website, no doubt. Politics of viewership. (2) NBC writers/producers are gaining recognition for capturing heartfelt interviews of one of US Track team's "beloved" so to speak….and (3) *ding *ding *ding, what message are they sending about black women who are confident in their work ethic, ambitious, and yet have a deferred dream/goal??? Lolo was getting choked up in the after about NOT winning and dealing with the lack of support from US media, her voice inflected down, not up and not loud. Yet, the coverage was labeled "Lolo lashes out at media" really??? Surely, that isn't an example of a stereotype of black women? No, that can't be.

  13. I'm posting a comment two times in one week? I'm normally a lurker, but I have sooo many comments on the Olympics and this story. Please excuse this dissertation.

    #1) As a former athlete (hurdler at that), I don't think there's anything wrong with what Dawn Harper said. Period. She was asked a question, she answered it honestly. She never said Lolo Jones is a bad athlete, who didn't work hard, who didn't do well. 4th place is nothing to snuff at, but she DIDN'T win when it counted (and it track and field, the pinnacle of the sport is the Olympics. That's why Allyson Felix, 3 time world champ still felt disappointed with silver at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics). I didn't see anything wrong with her saying she felt like she wasn't getting her props and she had worked hard to prove to people that she DID belong on the podium in 08… Whether Lolo lost or she won, doesn't matter. She's the one with the hardware.

    #1.5) Lolo is not above the shade either. She didnt' congratulate EITHER American athlete on making it to the podium after the race. She simply walked off the track. We can talk about that being unsportsman like to. But whatever, I'm not taking anything away from her. She's a former world champion (indoors) and still did something I could never do– make the Olympic team.

    #2) In track and field, endorsements are everything. Now I'm not a man, so I don't think that Kelli Wells and Dawn Harper are ugly. I think Dawn Harper has beautiful skin and a gorgeous smile (see there are the things a woman looks at) and Kelli Wells is just cute. I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but who's going to pick the dark brown skinned Dawn Harper over the exotic looking green eyed blonde hair, olive skinned Lolo Jones? I hate to bring "colorism" into it, but if you don't believe that's at play here, then you might be blind (or just not a conspiracy theorist like me… that's cool too). Lolo can't help her skin color. Nor am I blaming her for capitalizing off of it. But ALL Olympic athletes have stories. Kelli Wells story of being raped by her mother's boyfriend, then having her mother and her mother's boyfriend killed in a car accident months later is equally as traumatic as living in a salvation army basement. Same thing with Harper. But they LOOK different. I'd never heard Harper or Wells be short of sweet in an interview until this interview right here.

    #3) Sorry yall, I'm trying to be swift. I blame media for trying to turn this into a cat fight. Because if they were men… Nobody would have thought twice about what either of them said. They would have been confident instead of petty, competitors instead of catty. I know it's a gender biased world we live in but come on. The media has played a large role.

    Do I think Harper and Wells picked the right time to say what they said… Eh, not really. Were they wrong? No. And sorry if this post seems like I'm #reacting, lol

    ::end scene::

    1. I agree the 2 ladies who earned the hardware but aren't getting as much attention are justified in being hurt. I also agree w/you that a lot of the attn Lolo gets has a lot to do w/her looks. I also agree that this probably wasn't the right stage for the ladies to air their grievances. Great post!

    2. Imma just go 'head and co-sign this…cause I was pretty much about to type all this, lol.

      …not Lolo's fault she's got "the look" that the media likes. The media is def stirring this pot. I see all sides and feel for them all.

    3. You’re post is EXACTLY what I’ve been saying to friends. I don’t think they were wrong, and there might have been a better place to express it, but it came where it came. Also, in an interview I saw with Lolo, she was wallowing in self pity about the New York Times story. I would have respected her more if she hadn’t played the helpless victim. She could have made some snazzy remark about the “awesome” article but they left out a few important factual details.

  14. I understand Ms. Harper's and Well's frustration. Throughout the Olympic coverage I have heard a lot about LoLo, seen her in several commercials, etc despite her failing to medal in 2008 and 2012. Most of us have probably been in their shoes in our own careers…you are the person in the office that produces, gets stuff done timely and is always willing to take on extra project if need be but there is someone in the office who does less and gets more recognition. So while I get why they are bothered by the attention LoLo has received when they have had more successful careers this was the wrong time/place to voice it and they could have chosen their words better b/c they made themselves look bad.

  15. Its a case of warranted feelings and bad timing. Wells and Harper hve every right to feel the way they do and they are likely correct but that wasn't the time and place to express it.
    I can understand why Harper is upset. In 2008 she brought home the hardware. Got the Gold. She executed on the largest stage but instead of getting the celebration she got more of "She won Lolo's race", "She didn't really win that or deserve that", "She was just lucky…..but lets still focus on Lolo". Four years later she is still a distance second thought after Lolo. And the worst part of it is that, athletically, there is no reason Lolo should be getting the shine she does. She basically started her pro career around 2006. Since then she hasn't won a single, not one, outdoor 100m hurdle final at a big meet. How are you damn near the face of US female hurdlers and not have a single outdoor championship under your belt? Tons of endorsements but no hardware past one silver at a meet that wasn't even a National or International championship? Meanwhile the defending Olympic champion is virtually unknown. If I was Harper I'd be mad too….

  16. (cont)…And when it comes to Wells backstory, raped by the mom's BF as a child. Then the mom and BF die a month later in a car crash. Come on son.
    When the media called Lolo "the track version of Anna Kournikova" they were kinda spot on. She gets the media attention because of her looks and "innocent" image but as an athlete she hasn't done much to deserve it. But still, in the end, THAT was not the time for them to let their feelings out.

    1. This post was spot on.

      My only question is that a lot of people have been saying that that interview was not the appropriate forum to vent, but when could they have vented? I doubt talk show hosts were queuing up to invite Harper and Wells onto their shows.

      1. Exactly. There IS no appropriate way for a woman to express herself. A woman will face criticism no matter what she does or how she does it so if they feel it was appropriate for them in that moment than it was. That may have very well been their only public outlet and why not when they have global attention? smh. Where else are they supposed to do it? They're gonna come on singleblackmale.org and find support?

        *looks at Slim*

        Of course not. People need to get off their backs. The fact of the matter is, THEY WANT THE RECOGNITION THEY DESERVE. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it.

        1. So true! If I could give your posts more thumbs up, I would.

          I've watched the video over and over again, and the only thing that I can fault Harper with is her "boom" at the end. I think that she was very diplomatic in what she said. She never mentioned Lolo, and she certainly didn't fault the girl for all of the publicity that she has received. If anything, Harper's gripe is against the media for slighting her just because (and this is what I believe) she is not considered attractive. Plain and simple.

      2. Yeah I was thinking about that. There really is no other time they could express how they feel. Perhpas then I should say that they could have expressed it better *shrugs* I don't know. What I do know is that their feelings are warranted. Dawn Harper has a 2008 Olympic Gold, a 2011 World Championship Bronze and now a 2012 Olympic Silver. Lolo doesn't have a single big meet outdoor victory in her career. No reason she should be celebrated they way she is while Harper is overlooked.

        1. @ Dani.

          = )

          I just feel as if 'wrong' can always be found but understanding and being empathetic of what she's going through, and women in general, is the way to go. Millions of people seeing fault in their warranted expression vs. millions of people hearing what she's saying and giving her the recognition.

          @ larnelw

          That's all I believe they were saying. and they didn't even throw Lolo under the bus! They simply stated, we worked hard, we conquered, give us our shine. I don't even understand what the problem or hesitation was in doing so. How can you not see they deserve it? As you said, overlooking her? No reason for that.

        2. I'm not sure, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Lolo have the record time in hurdles? I'm just unsure after reading a few of the comments. With the "incident," I've been trying to learn more about each person involved. Some where I read that Lolo has some record.

        3. She has the Indoor 60m Hurdles American record. That's nice but when it come to the top professional track athletes many don't even bother with the indoor season. So its like a football player holding onto his record of racking up the most rushing yards during the pre-season. Most of the best aren't even going hard then so your record doesn't hold that much weight

      1. Okays so I don't see anything wrong with what they said. Nobody specifically said Lolo tho so how has this become about her?

        1. It's "kinda" implied, lol. They didn't mention her directly. But they excluded her…intentionally, imo. What they said wasn't wrong at all…just not the best time/platform.

  17. For Wells she wasn’t even at Beijing and has nor actual beef, but besides this interview she will be known as the Black Track Runner with the Blue Dye in her hair. Nobody will care that she won Bronze in London, plus she looks like Cedric theEntertainer’s wife from the Stever Harvey Show (don’t know the actor’s real name though)

    Now, as far as Harper’s concerned, she has REAL Beef with Lolo Jones. Yes, Jones is a two-time INDOOR World Champion, but when it comes to the Olympics, she LOST, Harper WON. It doesn’t matter that she tripped on the last hurdle four years ago, Dawn Beat Her, she ran Her Race and got Gold, but since then the coverage and spotlight is about Lolo and her back-story. Dawn had it rough as well, but Nobody even had Harper on their radar after 2008- but Lolo was the Diana Turasi of Women’s Track & Field.

    To Jones’ slight defense, people were also talking about Allison Felix, Carmelita Jeter, and other track sars, but None were one the ESPN Magazine cover, or Any Other Magazine cover; and other than Felix Nobody was interviewing Jeter or any other track runner-except mybe Jessica Beard (Euclid High School in Euclid, Ohio and Texas A&M Champion). Endosements are key for noteriety and whatnot to fund the team, but to Win a Gold Medal ina previous Olympics and STILL get overshadowed Sucks Big Time

  18. I’ve been following the Olympics very closely and have become an unofficial twitter correspondent to many of my followers. Dawn Harper is justified in her feelings and justified in her response. NBC in addition to many other media outlets have not given Dawn her credit/coverage. Even leading up to the finals where Lolo was the the 7th or 8th seed, NBC still made the story about her and failed to mention Dawn & Kellie.

    This was the perfect time to address Dawn’s concerns. When else was she going to do it? People are acting like she’s been given platforms before; remember all of the coverage has been about Lolo.

    Lastly, Kellie was simply stating the truth. The women who worked hard are on the podium and Lolo is in the Olympic Village with her vibrator. BOOM!

  19. Like everyone else, I definitely see where these ladies are coming from. And, I definitely do believe that Lolo's looks has A LOT to do with it–let's be real here. To White America (and maybe even America, as a whole), Lolo's looks are much more marketable than these ladies'. Lolo is the pretty, non-threatening innocent light-skinned chick. She may not have medaled, but she has the looks and that definitely worked to her advantage. For the most part, she didn't ask for all this attention, but hey, we definitely can't deny that her looks have a lot to do with it.

    But, I don't see anything wrong with what the ladies said. At all. They were being honest. They just chose the wrong place to address the issue. If I just won silver or bronze in my event at the Olympics and the 4th place runner is getting shine (for pit's sake, Lolo had a 'TODAY SHOW' interview and she didn't even freakin' place!), I'd be salty, too.

  20. yes in their feelings about a racist media, and no in their bitchy jealous petty comments directed toward someone who never publicly attacked either of them. truly sad. I will not be watching or rooting for them after that interview, and kellie can say it was media spin, but I saw
    the interview and nothing was out of context. it was a bitchfest which made them both appear ugly and jealous of lolo.. truly sad.

  21. I'm just trying to figure out why there's all this drama with the black athletes in the Olympics (Serena c-walkin, Gabbys hair and parents issues, Lolo's "look" outshining her talent (or lack thereof) and teamates…

    I mean…they kinda went in on Ryan's "I like to pee in pools" comment and we have those scheming Badminton players (how funny/stupid was that mess?!). But, MAN! Can the brethren just compete already?!

  22. If you saw their short 1min post-race interview you wouldn't be surprised at the lack of PR training they have….

    I definitely get where they are coming from, but, there is a time and place for everything.

  23. Honestly, I feel bad for Harper and Wells. They are absolutely correct in stating that their story is just as interesting as Lolo's. Nevertheless, it's as if they never learnt the tacit lesson that most do as children: beauty trumps everything if you're a woman.

    It's not Lolo's fault that she is beautiful. Neither is it her fault that the media has chosen her to be the hurdle darling of these games. I sympathize with Harper and Wells all the same though because it reeks not to be valued for your accomplishments because you are not deemed attractive.

  24. I mean come on .. you stood on ythe podium – everyone noticed that and noone has or noone tried to deny that, if the media didn't goive you enought notice you showed them by the way you run but damn this interview – it was like two little fgirls begging for attention by bashing soeone who didn't do them no harm … damn..

  25. Am I the only one who believes that LoLo is only white people marketing cute, but not really beautiful. I have already made clear that there is something wrong with a 30 year old virgin. If we are talking hurdles it begins and ends with Jenneke: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm7oX1yCFU0

    Followed by Morgan Snow who has the phatty/smile combination to really take her career to the next level.

    Back to Lolo. I think the media has to be held accountable for the people they make famous. If the justification for the fame is talent, than the person has to live up to it, if not get a reality tv show and leave the credible forms of media alone. This Jets coverage that ESPN has been doing is down right disgusting. You are following an 8-8 team around like they are the 72 Dolphins. Same goes with the coverage of Dale Jr and Sidney Crosby (atleast Sid won).
    My recent post Batman and Robin #12 Review

  26. Am I the only one who believes that LoLo is only white people marketing cute, but not really beautiful. I have already made clear that there is something wrong with a 30 year old virgin. If we are talking hurdles it begins and ends with Jenneke: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm7oX1yCFU0

    Followed by Morgan Snow who has the phatty/smile combination to really take her career to the next level.

    Back to Lolo. I think the media has to be held accountable for the people they make famous. If the justification for the fame is talent, than the person has to live up to it, if not get a reality tv show and leave the credible forms of media alone. This Jets coverage that ESPN has been doing is down right disgusting. You are following an 8-8 team around like they are the 72 Dolphins. Same goes with the coverage of Dale Jr and Sidney Crosby (atleast Sid won).
    My recent post Batman and Robin #12 Review

  27. The thing about the Olympics is that it is about how well you perform THAT DAY. Not about what you did in the past. All I hear is Harper won Jones' gold in 2008. In London she beat Lolo and proved she is the better athlete. Lolo is an amazing athlete but in the race that counted she did not outperform her competition in 2008 or 2012. It is quite interesting that Lolo's interview was longer than the one with the three metal winners. However seeing the mass endorsements Harper garnered from her gold in 2008, I am pretty sure any comments that were made didn't hurt her chances for an endorsement deal after winning the silver.

  28. I agree with your original post. First off, I am not an avid Track & Field fan, nor have I been glued to the TV regarding Olympics, but oddly enough I came to know Lolo Jones via a fitness magazine cover and because she claims to be a Christian. (Now as a reader, I don't know the politics behind the endorsements an athlete can receive or the media coverage. As well, I don't know how much social media networks now funnel who gets more attention.) To be frank, it's stunning the tension at that interview table — the US team has strife within its ranks…and it, to me, it is distasteful.

    I have to say – the women appear educated, well-spoken, and seem to have great personalities. But to present the notion that you "must get attention" rubs me the wrong way; or even more specifically, that the person who is getting more attention and you have a problem with that, comes off as unbecoming. Even the female interviewer appeared to pick up on the "air" of bad blood.

    I commend these athletes for their hard work, example of excellence, and story of triumph. Olympics has the ability to inspire us all to be great and to aspire to do something worth value. Something that will leave a noble legacy… Something of which we all can be proud.

    In this post-race setting, there must be a lesson to learn in this for us all:
    (1) There are probably underlying issue(s) that the public is not aware of about the story between these ladies and Lolo. How are they really as teammates? And like the famous line by a character in the movie <<Remember the Titans>> "Attitude reflects leadership"….. Undoubtedly, a coach should have been teaching the US Team about dealing with triumph/disappointment in post-race interviews.
    One thing I love about the NBA (or at least Miami Heat) is they consistently use verbiage that is SPOT ON — i.e. always affirming, encouraging, and giving credit to their teammates for their hard work. If you're going to be a professional athlete, know how to communicate professionally sound responses to these types of questions.

    2). A universal concept: No matter how hard we've worked, no matter how disciplined we are, no matter how much we've out-performed others, we will be overlooked many times in our lives. Undoubtedly. The fact of the matter — no one is required to do a "story" on you, no matter how horrible your story is. It's quite ironic and a little goofy for Dawn Harper to talk about how her story was "good" and be mad that she wasn't given the respect of time for it — at the end of the day, she should be content for her winnings, not that she didn't get coverage on her story. (albeit, Harper did go home with the gold, i get that).

    3). It's really sad to see that maybe the opposition of these players (opposition might be too strong of a word) is a product of the media and not an accurate reflection of their team.

    *Side note and final note — these women are both BEAUTIFUL…. just as much as Lolo. Who cares what the media prefers, these ladies appear great before the camera. With a bit more professionalism they will do fine!

    1. Last thing lol —

      I would like to think that ANYONE who makes it to the Olympics, yes even the person that runs the longest sprint time in a T&F heat, worked just as hard as the medal-holders.

      To imply that those not on the podium did not, is goofy and insipid. This would be unnerving if I was an athlete who ran in their race.

      1. Its that you don't really follow track that you don't understand the problem. Track isn't a sport that pays well unless you are top tier. Your living is made off of winning big meets and endorsements. Lolo Jones has won no big meets but she makes lots of money off of endorsements which promote her as the top US female hurdler when she isn't. Meanwhile athletes like Harper and Wells, who are winning, are overlooked because they don't have the same "exotic" looks Lolo does.
        So Harper is correct in her feelings. She performs. She has brought home the hardware but the endorsements aren't there. Meanwhile Lolo has all the endorsements. As the NY Times pointed out correctly, "She is the Anna Kournikova of track & field. She's endorsed due to her looks not her accomplishments."

        1. Thanks for clarifying the industry of T&F. That helps to know. It seems to me that if you cast someone as the "Kournikova" of any sport, that is not only a huge statement (it's hurtful), it further disses that woman as well. (And i'm not saying that to be super politically correct…)So while i understand more clearly now the frustration, I don't agree withe the method of communicating that frustration, nor the place/time it was done by those two ladies.

          BUT I do think there is an insidious tendency that has long existed in our world poking its head out once again — the appearance of multiracial, fair-complected women receiving more notoriety than beautiful dark-skinned women that are just as good, if not better. And there in lies a greater frustration and an even greater discussion.

          NEVERTHELESS, people have to be wise about exposing their "feelings" on an issue, yes even after they prove their worth of respect subsequent to them winning Olympic medals. The term "professional athlete," to me, must encompass how they deal with the media, expressing their disappointments, and dealing with comparison from newsreporters. We would expect this type of professionalism from any person working for a legit company, serving as a representative for their country, or even celebrities and politicians. It's not just about political correctness, it's just good ol' etiquette. When you curtail this form of tact from what you possess as a "professional athlete" that doesn't bolster my celebration of your achievement, nor boost my pride in my country, nor make me want to hear your back-story of hard work….It actually mars the shine of the medal that athlete received and mars the integrity of the team, and that coach's leadership, to me. It's sad to sit and see women who look like they've been stewing in anger over poor media attention. Jealousy looks good on no one, and instead of reflecting tremendous joy at personal challenges overcome and the achievement of a lifetime (Olympic medals), what resonates to me as the viewer was contention instead of celebration and honor.

          …I agree with the other commentator who mentioned that Dawn saying "boom" at the end was a clear indication of something wrong with that interview.

          Sad.

  29. They wanted the attention and now they got it. Be careful what you wish for ladies… Not only will they not be getting any endorsement deals, they've managed to alienate much of the American public too. How did it go, Dawn, "BOOM! Just like that?!" Yeah, it went like that…except that's not a good thing. I think the public is even MORE aligned with Lo Lo now. #yougetmorebeeswithhoney

  30. I tell my athletes all the time let your performance do your talking. The old adage it is better for people to think that your an idiot then to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Watching the swim team at these Olympics has been the best example of how you handle these types of situations. The media kept trying to bait Michael Phelps into bad mouthing his teammates who were doing some trash talking, but he didn't fall for the bait, he just said I let the pool do my talking. Lolo is the current US record holder in 100 hurdles and has 2 NCAA records as well as having one the last 2 indoor championships. These are two ladies had PRs but the American record was not broken nor was the Olympic record and they took silver and bronze, the Australian took the Gold. There is a reason the media pays Lolo some attention and it has to do in large part because of what her performances say about her and what she has overcome to get there. Always follow the Gold Rule when it comes to everyone but especially your teammates.

  31. People want to be politically correct but at the end of the day Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells won their Olympic medals.

    Lolo Jones basically prostituted herself selling sex yet saying she's a virgin she hasn't won anything big in track. At the end of the day in track and field it is all about the Olympic medals which Dawn and Kellie have achieved and Lolo has not.

    Harper and Wells are in Olympic history NOT Lolo Jones who ended up in fourth place. Why should Harper and Wells be fake and act like they like Lolo Jones? Jones gets a lot of hype because in the black and white community there is an obsession with mixed race women. Black heterosexual men are also to blame they place the light skinned women like Lolo Jones on a pedestal while scoring darker skinned black women.

    1. The only hypocrites in this are Kellie Wells who's voluntarily taking booty shots and blogging her abuse experience to the world , lookin like she's trying to one up Lolo.

      In Lolo's case the media came to her, not the other way around. In Dawn and mostly Kellie's case they sought out the media.

      lolo never publicly bashed them as they did her. These women, Dawn and especially Kellie are green and bitter to the bone, and that's the problem.

      Neither of them have the class of Gabby Douglas, Jackee Joyner-Kersee's, or even the Williams sisters. So have a seat with your nonsense.

  32. The mainstream media won’t have to attempt to frame Harper and Wells as jealous women who resent Lolo Jones because of her fame, both Harper and Wells managed to accomplish that all on their own during their interview. Their comments weren't taken out of context or edited but was a fascinating and disappointing display of spite towards a fellow team mate. Dawn should have been smarter in not taking that baton from Kellie Wells and running with it. As a woman of color, I was embarrassed watching the interview and their classless display. Can’t be upset with a person for cashing in on her popularity and celebrity, we would all do it if given the opportunity. This interview demonstrated why we can never get ahead as a “people”. We are always too happy to try to break another one of us down.
    It doesn’t matter that Lolo didn’t win a medal; she is an Olympian, and a world class athlete that competes for team USA and it was the media’s decision to pick their horse and ride it “til” the end – that horse was Lolo Jones.
    Although I have my favorite athletes, I support all of our athletes, as we all should.

  33. Ditto to what alot of people have been saying. I do understand heir frustration. Think about training for 4 years (in addition to training for other international meets, being a consistent athlete in terms of performance and the girl who has not delivered as much as you consistently recieves attention "and benefit of the doubts." Ive seen Lolo Jones in The McDonalds, BP, Citibank commercials, Today Show, 20/20 documentary,etc. I do think her story itself is inspirational but i do understand that to an extent it ought not to outshine other contributions. When Dawn Harper and Kelly Wells won silver and bronze respectively the article was not titled "Harper and Wells earn olympic medals" it was something like Lolo Jones' disappointing 4th place finish, etc. Its sad that because the all due the same event that Harper and Wells are defined vis-a-vis Jones. Its like the younger sibling who has an older brother or sister and is know as so-and-so's little brother instead of being called by their own name. They are not defined by their own personal performances but defined in relation to Lolo Jones performances which isnt too fair. No one says if Bryan Clay was in this Olympics Ashton Eaton maybe wouldnt have won gold, so its ironic that similar comparisons are made between these ladies. In other olympic events if a USA athlete wins a medla and another does not, the interviewer has hardly EVER has the winner "what do you think of the fact that your teammate did not place?" Someone tell me when that has happened because Harper especially has constantly had to answer questions about Lolo Jones. Its like if they are going to ask her that many questions about Lolo, they might as well talk to Lolo instead of Dawn!

    It is questionable that they could have been a little less callous during the interview, but its hard to know what goes on behind the scenes and what other encounters have happened but i do understand the basis for the resentment.

  34. Dawn and Kellie may have expressed accurately how they felt, but…….

    1. You can't force the public to love/like you or even know who you are
    2. Earning a medal doesn't mean you "deserve" lots of media attention and endorsements. It means you've earned respect for your athletic accomplishment. America is littered with obscure Olympic and World Champion medalists we've never heard of.
    3. Hurdles is the bbbbastard step-child of track and field, and few hurdlers get alot of media attention.
    4. Companies endorse who they feel will make them money. They spend millions of dollars in research to see who will sell their product; yall didn't test that well in the focus groups.
    5. If Lolo hadn't got all the pre-Olympic hype, alot less people would have watched your race, and alot less people would know who you are. You should thank her.

    Dawn and Kellie and Lolo are great athletes. Let's just leave it at that, because we don't control the rest.

  35. What do you do when the athletes won't even take advice from Jackie Joyner Kersee?

    Jackie Joyner Kersee made the most sense on this topic — she told HLN: "Everybody wants sponsorship, everybody wants to be marketed, but not everybody is marketable." She told Harper, "Just get the job done. Don't worry about who's getting attention or not getting attention. Get out there, focus on your lane, execute, and what's going to come your way is what's going to come your way."

    Seems like if Harper and Wells would have heeded that advice, none of this would have blown up in the first place.
    http://www.hlntv.com/video/2012/08/10/lolo-jones-

  36. The only hypocrites in this are Kellie Wells who's voluntarily taking booty shots and blogging her abuse experience to the world , lookin like she's trying to one up Lolo.

    In Lolo's case the media came to her, not the other way around. In Dawn and mostly Kellie's case they sought out the media.

    lolo never publicly bashed them as they did her. These women, Dawn and especially Kellie are green and bitter to the bone, and that's the problem.

    Neither of them have the class of Gabby Douglas, Jackee Joyner-Kersee's, or even the Williams sisters.

  37. As a former gold medalist, Dawn’s gripes were real, just misplaced. Kellie, I don’t know what to think. She feels like she’s desperate for media attention with her childhood abuses published right after Lolo was interview sped for hers. hmmmmm

    And If she’s gonna be a men’s model then she’ll have to face real beauties like Melyssa Ford. Don’t think so. She better get rid of those stomach scars and soften the face or something.

    I think Dawn has a conscience, but Kellie reminds me of some wirey short bully beating up on girls prettier than her, and then lying about it.

    Either way, the only winner here was Lolo, and she aint got the medals. smh

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