After Olympic Skater Hints Coin Toss Decision Was Racist, Jesse Jackson Swoops in With His Support

| FEB 10, 2018 | 8:55 PM

Stacy Revere/Francois G. Durand/Getty Images

The 2018 Winter Olympics just started, but American speedskater Shani Davis has already injected controversy into the competition.

In what looked more like a temper tantrum than a legitimate complaint, Davis, who is black, took to Twitter this week to suggest the decision to use a coin toss to determine who would carry the American flag into the stadium for the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea, was somehow linked to the color of his skin.

“[Team USA] dishonorably tossed a coin to decide its 2018 flag bearer. No problem. I can wait until 2022,” he tweeted, noting February is Black History Month.

The coin toss was used to break a 4-4 tie between Davis and luger Erin Hamlin, who ultimately carried the U.S. flag into the stadium.

Many social media users were quick to call out Davis for his unseemly pity party:

But there was one prominent figure — the Rev. Jesse Jackson — who hurried to Davis' defense:

Hamlin, for her part, said she was honored to have the opportunity to lead Team USA into Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony Friday night.

“Beyond grateful to be a part of this team and incredibly proud to have the privilege of leading every amazing [Team USA] athlete into that stadium tonight,” she wrote.

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