US track and field star Sha’Carri Richardson claims she was removed from an American Airlines plane after having an argument with a flight attendant.
In a series of posts and stories on her official Instagram, the 22-year-old says that a flight attendant asked her to end a call, which she did before telling him that she didn’t like his tone.
“After that, while standing in front of me complying with safety protocols, he continued to lean over to look at my phone,” Richardson said in an Instagram story tagging American Airlines. “He asked to see if my phones were on airplane mode at this time. He demanded that I show him. Which I did in front of him.”
In a video that Richardson says was taken after interacting with the flight attendant, she can be seen taking a video of herself.
“I’m not working today,” she says. “Vacation.”
It is unclear where Richardson was flying.
Richardson then pans the phone’s camera to a flight attendant near her, who is seen walking away.
“I’m recording myself, but you jumped on my video, so I caught you, because you jumped on my video,” says Richardson.
“You can’t record,” the flight attendant is heard saying.
“You’re bothering me at this point, so I think you should stop, I think you should stop,” Richardson replies.
NBC News doesn’t know what happened before Richardson started taping.
Commotion is then heard from other passengers, some of whom are asking Richardson to pull over.
“You see him, right? You’re seeing him, right?” Richardson asks them. “Tell him to stop. If you don’t know what’s going on, don’t yell at me.”
“You can stop recording,” says the flight attendant.
“No, I’m not going to stop recording because I was making a video for myself,” Richardson replies.
Richardson posted another video on her Instagram showing the moments before she was asked to leave the flight.
“I definitely would have listened to the instructions but the way he was talking to me was very unprofessional and his hands were all over my face,” Richardson can be heard saying in the video, which has been liked over 47,000 times.
A fellow passenger is then heard thanking Richardson, blaming her for missing his connecting flight.
“Ah, so you’re worried about hooking up while a grown man is disrespecting me?” she answers.
“I don’t give a shit,” says the passenger before calling Richardson selfish.
Someone then approaches Richardson and tells her that she is being asked to leave the plane. When she asks why, the person replies, “The captain wants you off the plane.”
“Does the captain know of the situation that happened before removing me?” she says. “So they know this man’s hands are in my face and he was very disrespectful and I felt threatened?”
Richardson asks to speak with the captain and also whether the stewardess she argued with will also be taken off the plane.
“So he’s not being removed after being unprofessional and having his hand in my face?” she responds after learning that the flight attendant will not be asked to leave the flight. “So I’m being removed from the plane without even being explained why?”
The track star then asks what the flight attendant’s name is, to which he again tells her that she is not allowed to record.
“No, but you jumped on my video, that’s what started this whole thing and the video shows that you jumped on my video and invaded my privacy, you know that right?” she tells him. “So it’s possible that you lose your job because I have proof.”
The commotion is again heard from the other passengers. Richardson begins to gather his things to prepare to leave the plane.
“You see it on social media, because you have no idea who I am,” she says as she steps off the plane.
Clapping is heard as Richardson moves to exit the plane.
NBC News reached out to Richardson’s team for comment. American Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Richardson, who rose to fame when she qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, was subsequently suspended for a month after testing positive for THC, the chemical in cannabis, according to the US Anti-Doping Agency.
Richardson did an exclusive interview on NBC’s “TODAY” after failing a drug test.
“Right now I’m putting all my energy into dealing with what I need to heal,” Richardson said at the time.
Richardson said during the interview that she turned to marijuana to make ends meet after a reporter told her that her biological mother had died.
“I want to take responsibility for my actions,” he added. “I am not looking for an excuse.”
“I would like to say to my fans, my family and my sponsorship, also the haters, I am sorry,” she said. “As much as I am disappointed, I know that when I step onto this track, I do not represent myself, I represent a community that has given me great support, great love.”