IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Michael Phelps defends race against shark: 'Not my fault' viewers didn't listen

Viewers were outraged after the Olympic swimmer completed a simulated race against a great white as part of the Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week.
/ Source: TODAY

Haters gonna hate, but Michael Phelps refuses to put up with them.

The Olympic superstar addressed criticism from his simulated race last weekend against a great white during a Discovery Channel special that was part of the network's annual Shark Week.

Phelps called the experience “incredible." Viewers, however, were not impressed by the CGI showdown.

But critics only had themselves to blame, the swimmer said during a Facebook Live session Tuesday.

“You can believe whatever you want,” Phelps told one user. “Everything was either presented on air, during multiple interviews that I did throughout Shark Week or the beginning of the show. Sorry you feel that way. For me, this was something I always wanted to do. I was honored to be able to do it.”

To be clear, both the Discovery Channel and Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, were honest about what would take place during the so-called race.

Vanity Fair posted a story just days before the match that explained the logistics by saying the swimmer and the shark “will each swim 100 meters in the same open water, and their times will be compared.”

Phelps also went on “The Tonight Show” and told Jimmy Fallon the same thing.

Therefore, Phelps said he was completely honest about what people would see on the Sunday night special.

“Some people decide just not to listen to some of the things that we do and that’s not my fault that you don’t do that,” he said during his lengthy Facebook Live chat. “It’s pretty easy to open up your ears and listen to either what the TV is saying, what the announcer is saying or what I’m saying in interviews.”

Phelps said the matchup was done in “the best way that we could do it” and he absolutely loved the experience.

"Everybody wants to pick on something or say something or complain about something, so ... I had fun racing a shark, and seeing those animals up close and personal," he said. “If somebody actually wants to get in the water and race side by side with a great white, go ahead. You’re not going to get the shark to swim in a straight line. And, uh, yeah, it would be interesting to see. We’ll leave it at that.”

While Phelps did apologize to those who were disappointed, he struck back at people trying to call him out on social media.

“It’s really truly incredible watching some of the questions that these haters have out there. It’s shocking. It blows my mind,” he said.