American Airlines Apologizes for Accusing Basketball Players of Theft

American Airlines issued an official apology for falsely accusing two African-American basketball players of theft and kicking them off a flight.

Marquis Teague and Trahson Burrell both play for the minor league basketball team the Memphis Hustle, and were boarding a plane in Texas headed for South Dakota, as reported by The Daily Mail.

As the two players walked toward their seats in the coach section of the plane, they were given blankets by people in first class. A flight attendant on the plane then accused the two of them of stealing the blankets and kicked them and their team's assistant coach off of the plane.

Upon discovering the grave error that was made, the airline apologized and flew the group first class to their destination.

Hustle head coach Glynn Cyprien, as well as assistant coach Darnell Lazare, took to Twitter to express their irritation after the situation occurred.

"American Airlines Needs Sensitivity Training to Attendants on flights dealing with Humans & Blankets!," Cyprien tweeted.

Lazare wrote, "It's 2017 and a Flight attendant for [American Air] 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."


Joshua Freed, a spokesperson for American Airlines, explained what happened and expressed the companies regret over what transpired.

"We apologize for what occurred on this flight," Freed said. "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 [the two players and the assistant coach]."