Unless you’ve been living in a cave you’d know that Usain Bolt is fast. Like, really fast.
He might not have broken his own world record in the 100m sprint final at the Rio Olympic Games on August 15, but the superstar sprinter was so quick about it that he even snuck in a cheeky smile as he sped passed his competition on his way to the finish line.
The image was hastily shared around the globe and social media was abuzz with memes in support of the Olympic icon.
One such supporter was United States’ television host and comedienne, Ellen DeGeneres, who posted a photoshopped version of the image featuring herself riding on Usain’s back with the caption: “This is how I’m running errands from now on. #Rio2016”.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 15, 2016
It didn’t take long for the internet to get on Ellen’s back with claims her meme was racially insensitive for showing a white woman riding on the back of a black man.
But was she? Some claim Ellen’s meme made out that Usain was nothing more than a ‘mule’ or a piece of property, while others leapt to the host’s defence saying that she was merely referring to Usain’s speed.
The 58-year-old acknowledged the backlash on August 16 in a Twitter post saying, “I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.”
I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 16, 2016