NBA minor leaguers kicked off American Airlines flight, falsely accused of stealing blankets
This was just another case of 'Flying While Black.'
On Christmas Eve, two NBA G League players were kicked off an American Airlines flight.
The reason? An employee thought they had stolen blankets from first class.
Memphis Hustle guard Marquis Teague and forward Trahson Burrell had been on a flight from Dallas to Sioux Falls when two passengers in first class offered them their blankets.
According to a report by The Undefeated, an airline employee saw the blankets and accused the two players of stealing from first class. A frustrated Burrell responded angrily, which prompted the flight attendant to refuse to fly unless the players were removed from the flight.
So, the two players ended up getting kicked off.
American Airlines apologizes
“We apologize for what occurred on this flight. We take pride in bringing people together, and we know that on this flight we let some of our customers down. Our team at American, along with Envoy Air, is reviewing what happened, and will be reaching out to them,” American Airlines said in a statement provided to USA TODAY Sports.
Their official Twitter account also put out a statement in response to criticism.
Hustle assistant Darnell Lazare wrote on Twitter: “It’s 2017 and a Flight attendant for @AmericanAir sees 2 young black athletes with blankets from first class, his 1st comment is “did you steal them” how about you teach people to get the facts first before jumping to conclusions. #beingblackinamerican”
This after Hustle head coach Glynn Cyprien wrote, “American Airlines Needs Sensitivity Training to Attendants on flights dealing with Humans & Blankets!”
The airline’s official Twitter account then responded, “In our culture, every interaction with a customer or team member should be grounded in respect.”
Teague and Burrell did eventually get to Sioux Falls after the incident. They flew on a different American Airlines flight and were even given first class seats.