Former NBA player Eric Murdock is suing United Airlines for “obvious race-baiting” he experienced from a flight attendant.
According to reports, the 50-year-old, who used to play for the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, and The Nets, filed a lawsuit in NYC claiming he was subjected to racism from a flight attendant before his flight from Las Vegas to New Jersey took off.
Murdock claims he asked a flight attendant if he could switch seats to sit next to his son. While one attendant said he could move, another stopped him because the seat he wanted was in an exit row and therefore categorized as a “premium” seat that cost more money. In the suit, he claims the flight attendant was “rude and dismissive” and yelled at him in front of the other passengers before allowing a white woman to move into the seat he had requested.
He claims when he asked about why she was allowed to move seats and he wasn’t, the flight attendant advised him to mind his own business.
It turns out another Black passenger, Brenda Williams, felt harassed as well and attempted to record the ordeal as it happened. Her efforts were reportedly thwarted by the racist attendant who reportedly told her ““Erase the video now, or give me your phone … It’s against the law to record me!”
According to the NYPost, Eric Murdock and Brenda Williams were removed from the flight and questioned by TSA officials before being released with no charges.
Eric Murdock issued a statement after he filed the lawsuit, which Brenda Williams joined.
“In this divisive time people are emboldened to be the worst version of themselves,” he wrote. “I never thought that I would personally be in this position, but neither will I back down. If I can use the fame and respect which I have gained to achieve social change I will.”
United Airlines issued a statement on the matter:
“At United, we proudly hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind. We are looking into the allegations, and because we have not yet been served with the lawsuit, we are unable to provide further comment.”
Sounds like another instance of #FlyingWhileBlack to us.