American Airlines has landed in hot water yet again this year. According to The Associated Press, two teammates of the Memphis Hustle basketball team (an extension of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies) were kicked off a plane for allegedly stealing blankets.
The plane was stationed in Dallas at the time of the incident which seemed to just be a misunderstanding. According to the news site, as Trashon Burrell and Marquis Teague were on their way through first-class to the aircraft’s coach section, two unidentified first-class passengers handed them their blankets. That’s when the flight attendant claimed they swiped the items.
The company issued an apology to the athletes and placed them on another flight to their original destination of Sioux Falls, South Dakota – in first-class seats. Per Raw Story, the team’s assistant coach, Darnell Lazare, expressed his disgust with the flight attendant.
“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 steam them’ how about you teach people to get the facts first before jumping to conclusions.”
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
— Darnell Lazare (@Dhouse35) December 24, 2017
After a series of other race-related events with American Airlines, the NAACP called for a travel advisory, stating that African-American travelers should prioritize their “safety and well-being” when patronizing American Airlines or traveling on American Airlines flights.”