Kevin Hart loves to spend time around professional athletes, but this time a competition between himself and a former NFL running back went way too far.
If you've ever watched a professional athlete on TV and thought "I could do that," you're most likely wrong — and you're not the only one. Hart is clearly in the club as well, as the comedian and actor challenged former NFL running back Stevan Ridley to a 40-yard dash.
Kevin Hart thought he could beat former #Patriots RB Stevan Ridley in a 40-yard dash.
Not only did he lose the race, but Hart also suffered a torn lower abdomen, which has now left him in a wheelchair. ?
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 24, 2023
As any reasonable fan might imagine, Hart never had a chance to beat Ridley in the race, but it may have been less obvious just how badly things would go for the beloved comic. Not only did Hart lose, he tore his lower abdomen in the process — an injury that has forced him into a wheelchair for the immediate future. Hart posted a video explaining how he got there, stating that he didn't want anybody to be alarmed when they saw him chair-bound in public. In the video, he says that the race was sparked by a debate between the two about who was faster — while Hart assures his viewers that "those that know [him] know [he's] pretty fast."
This wasn't Hart's first foray into the world of sports. He is the nearly undisputed GOAT of the NBA All-Star Week Celebrity Game. He was a staple in the exhibition contest for years, racking up a completely unprecedented four consecutive game MVPs from 2012 to 2015 before experiencing another moment of clarity regarding his age. Former Little League World Series phenom Mo'ne Davis "embarrassed him on live television," and that was evidence enough in his eyes that he had lost a step.
Ridley, now age 34, played his college ball at LSU before going on to have an eight-year NFL career, highlighted by his four seasons with the New England Patriots. Ridley's best year was 2012, when he racked up 1,263 rushing yards and 12 scores on the ground. Amid some fumbling issues, he lost his grip on the full-time starting job in 2013. He then tore his ACL and MCL early in the 2014 season, ending his Patriots tenure — although he did receive a ring for his contributions to the team's run to win Super Bowl XLIX. After the injury, he was never the same; he ran for 285 yards total in his four non-Patriots seasons.
In Hart's video, he makes some good points about respecting the changes a body goes through as it ages. He states that "the age of 40 is real," and must be respected — the Philadelphia-born actor turned 44 in July — because things change after that age and you can't always do what you did when you were younger.
This lesson underscores how impressive it is to see athletes in their 40s still achieving at a high level, such as Ridley's former teammate Tom Brady or Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. That being said, it's fair to question the idea that a foot race against a former pro would've gone well for the 5-foot-2 Hart at any point in his life. Even Hart himself wonders himself why he even raced — or what he was competing for at his age — and near the end of the video refers to himself as the "stupidest man alive."
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