A tense argument with a flight attendant led to American track and field star Sha’carri Richardson being kicked off an American Airlines flight.
Richardson, 23, claimed the argument was initiated because a white male attendant used a “tone” she did not agree with, while telling her to end a phone call, according to NBC News. The call apparently ended before Richardson began recording the situation.
In an Instagram video captured by the Olympic athlete before takeoff, she contended that the flight attendant identified as “John” disrespected her while she was recording a video of herself in airplane mode, which is not a violation of flight rules.
She claimed during her recording that the attendant asked her to get off her phone and to put it on airplane mode, stating, “I did.”
“I stated to him I didn’t like the tone he used with me. Following that while standing in front of me doing the safety protocol he continued to lean over to look at my phone. He asked to see that my phones were in airplane mode at this point. He demanded that me show him. Which I did in front of him.”
Richardson continued to record and argue with the flight attendant after showing him in camera view, as he proceeded to move behind the curtain.
Passengers on the flight began getting agitated with Richardson and urged her to stop the verbal altercation with the attendant. However, she continued to claim her innocence in the matter.
“Y’all see him right? Y’all see him right? I’m sorry, it’s not me,” she said to one passenger. “Talk to him. No ma’am. Do not talk to me like that. I’m an adult. Do not talk to me like that. Do not talk to me like that. Tell him to stop. If you do not know what’s going on, do not yell at me.”
Passengers applauded as Richardson was escorted from the flight.
In another Instagram post, Richardson weighed legal action against the airline.
“Not only did the man threaten me but also an innocent bystander who simply wanted a picture with me.”