Former NFL receiver Chad Johnson was once arguably the most explosive receiver in the league during his prime. Now his daughter, Cha’iel Johnson, may be arguably the most explosive 12-year-old track athlete in the country after she set a new U.S. record in the 800 meters for 12-and-under youths.

Cha’iel Johnson ran in the AAU Track and Field National Club Championships in Orlando, Fla., on July 12 and set the record with a time of two minutes and 14 seconds, the fastest any 12-year-old has run the 800m in 12 years.

Former NFL receiver Chad Johnson and his 12-year-old daughter, Cha’iel Johnson. (Photo courtesy of Chad Johnson’s Twitter @ochocinco)

While Chad is usually at most of Cha’iel’s track events, often training with her daily, he missed her making history July 12 due to his presence at a youth football camp in L.A. But he did give her a special shout-out on Twitter as soon as he got word of her record-breaking performance.

“Just got word @BabyChaiel_85 broke the 12 year old 800 meter record at ESPN Wide World of Sports w/ a time of 2:14,” Johnson tweeted.

Johnson then posted a video of Cha’iel’s race, pointing out how she was beating her chest in excitement after she crossed the finish line.

“How you run two laps in two minutes and 14 seconds then walk off the track beating your chest like Denzel in Training Day,” tweeted Johnson.

Like father, like daughter? Not only was Chad Johnson one of the fastest and most productive receivers during his 11-year career (he earned six pro bowl selections with seven 1,000-yard seasons), but he was also one of the most entertaining NFL players to watch because of his braggart spirit and penchant for trash-talking. Now it appears his daughter has the same spirit for friendly trash talk.

When asked if she ever beat her 39-year-old father in a race, she smiled and said, “I have raced my dad before, but he claims he pulled a hamstring, so…”.


Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor