Retired football great Terrell Owens posted video Thursday of a confrontation with a Florida neighbor — whom he dubbed “Karen” — after he says she called deputies to complain about his driving.
Owens claimed, in an Instagram video with more than 166,000 views as of Friday morning, that he was going to his mailbox when a woman yelled at him to stop speeding Wednesday evening.
When Owens stopped to respond to her, the Hall of Fame wide receiver said she called 911 and he waited for deputies to arrive, according to the former player’s Instagram footage.
Throughout the 11-minute video, Owens, who is Black, kept calling the woman “Karen” as he addressed the camera.
“So when I called her ‘Karen,’ her husband wanted to tell me stop calling her ‘Karen,’” Owens said. “They thought I was just going to bow down and listen to all that mess. OK. This is where we are America.”
“Karen” has become a popular term for white women who call police to report people of color for seemingly mundane, noncriminal acts.
“She said I came after her. Really?” Owens said. “And then he wondered why I called her ‘Karen.’ That’s what Karens do.”
A Broward County sheriff’s deputy “responded to a disturbance call in the 4000 block of Pelicano Way in Deerfield Beach” at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to a department statement.
“The deputy made contact with a man and a woman on scene who were having a verbal dispute,” the department statement said. “The parties were separated, and the situation resolved.”
The sheriff declined to identify the woman.
In 911 audio the department made public, a woman told a dispatcher that a man was “aggressively driving and almost hit me” and then “got out of the car to threaten me.”
“He’s an African American individual,” the woman said.
When asked if the man was armed, she said: “I don’t know. He got out of the car.”
The dispatcher eventually asked: “Did you want an officer (to respond)?”
She replied: “Yes, please.”
In another Instagram posting, Owens named the woman he claims confronted him and called 911. There was no one by that name listed in local telephone directories.
“I want you let you all know this Karen stuff is really real,” Owens said. “It’s really real.”
Owens could not be immediately reached for additional comment Friday.
Helen Kwong and Brian Hamacher contributed.