Two black professional basketball players were kicked off an American Airlines flight after they were falsely accused of stealing blankets.
The Associated Press, via the Guardian, reports that Trahson Burrell and Marquis Teague, who play for the minor-league NBA G League team the Memphis Hustle, were booted off a flight after a black flight attendant accused them of stealing blankets that were given to them by two first-class passengers.
The two players argued with the flight attendant that they didn’t steal any blankets, and the flight attendant subsequently refused to fly with them on the plane because they made him feel unsafe.
American Airlines apologized to the players who were falsely accused of stealing the blankets, and subsequently put them on a first-class flight to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. However, the players subsequently missed the team’s Christmas dinner, which prompted an angry Twitter tirade against American Airlines from the team’s assistant coach, Darnell Lazare.
“It’s 2017 and a Flight attendant for [American Airlines] sees two young black athletes with blankets from first class, his first comment is ‘did you steal them,'” Lazare wrote. “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