If there’s one thing that can be said about Trump, it’s that he’s occupied himself since taking office with issues other than those that actually plague the United States. For example, sexism and racism are heinous scourges upon the American people, but the president has shown that combating those issues is far from the top of his agenda. He has perpetuated sexism and sought to discredit efforts to combat racism.
With these issues in mind, it’s not as though two African American athletes who suffered a ridiculous act of apparent discrimination this week can find an ally in the president.
The Guardian reports that two African American professional basketball players, Memphis Hustle guard Marquis Teague and forward Trahson Burrell, were kicked off of their flight from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Sunday after a flight attendant falsely accused them of stealing and then had them removed from the flight.
The flight attendant, the publication notes, was African American, but that hasn’t stopped the allegations of the players having suffered racial discrimination.
The issue arose after two first class passengers gave the players their blankets. The players themselves were seated in coach.
The flight attendant behind the mess accused the players of stealing the blankets, and after an argument and the flight attendant claiming to feel threatened by the players being on the flight, they were asked to leave.
The players were eventually seated on another flight to South Dakota, but not in time to make their team’s Christmas dinner.
The team’s assistant coach posted an angry message to Twitter about the incident, reading:
‘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.’
The team’s coach also posted an angry message about the incident to Twitter.
American Airlines spokesperson Joshua Freed commented:
‘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.’
The players’ team, which is a minor league affiliate of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, won their basketball game the following day.
Full Highlights: Hustle drop 131 points to defeat Skyforce 131-115 on Christmas Day. pic.twitter.com/zD8W5tSXHm
— Memphis Hustle (@MemphisHustle) December 26, 2017
Major airlines have faced a number of other public image-affecting incidents throughout recent months, with a broader attention paid to what goes down on flights after a doctor was dragged off a United Airlines flight in April, sustaining significant injuries in the process.
Just recently, Chrissy Teigen and her husband, the singer John Legend, had to turn around and return to a California airport after spending four hours flying to Tokyo. Somehow, a passenger had boarded their flight when they didn’t actually have a ticket for it. The anonymous passenger’s ticket was for a different flight.
Professional athletes have been drawn into issues of racism in the past, with the president having had his well documented meltdown over some NFL players’ decisions to take a knee during the pre-game playing of the national anthem.
Featured Image via Scott Olson/Getty Images