American Airlines hardly needs stories about young black men kicked off a flight unreasonably in the aftermath of the NAACP issuing a(n unjustified) travel warning against the airline.
Yesterday I wrote that two professional basketball players were removed from an Envoy Air (American Eagle) flight after being accused of stealing blankets from first class. They were apparently given the blankets by first class passengers. American Airlines apologized.
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
However a reader says that he was on the flight and the narrative being broadly reported — such as in the Dallas Morning News and ESPN as well as wire services and outlets around the world — is wrong.
Daren Lockett writes,
I was on this flight. This is not what happened. The blanket issue was resolved immediately. The two passengers threatened bodily harm to the flight attendant. That’s why they were escorted off the plane.
The [flight attendant was] black. It wasn’t a race issue.
He posted this publicly as well, so while I cannot directly verify that he was on the flight (or that his perception is accurate) I can surmise from the Facebook post matching the comments here that this is a real individual sharing their story.
It seemed worth sharing that the conventional wisdom — and the reporting I relied upon in sharing the incident yesterday — may not be accurate. And American may still be apologizing whenever race comes up regardless of the facts thinking that they cannot win that kind of argument.