American Airlines Sorry for Kicking Two Basketball Players Off Flight Over Blankets

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2008
American Airlines
American Airlines

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines has apologized to two Black professional basketball players who were kicked off a plane in Dallas after a flight attendant accused them of stealing blankets.

Airline spokesman Joshua Freed said Tuesday that Memphis Hustle guard Marquis Teague and forward Trahson Burrell boarded the flight bound for Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Sunday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The flight was operated by Envoy Air.

Two first-class passengers gave the players their blankets as they headed to their seats in coach. But a Black flight attendant accused them of theft and forced them off the plane.

Freed says an airline manager apologized to the players and that they later flew first class to Sioux Falls.

The statement from American Airlines read in part, “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.”

Chief executive Doug Parker told employees last month that American Airlines will implement implicit-bias training.

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