Two members of the NBA G League’s Memphis Hustle were kicked off an American Airlines flight after a dispute with a flight attendant involving blankets.
According to The Undefeated, Marquis Teague and Trahson Burrell were accused of stealing blankets that had been handed to them by first-class passengers. After Burrell “offered some threatening words” the flight attendant reportedly said the plane wouldn’t fly until the two players had exited. Teague and Burrell wound up taking a later flight and missing a team holiday dinner, per The Undefeated.
American Airlines says it has apologized to Teague and Burrell for the incident.
An American Airlines spokesman said an official apologized to the players after the incident and the company plans to apologize again. The team and the airline also plan to investigate the incident further.
“We apologize for what occurred on this flight,” American Airlines spokesman Joshua Freed told The Undefeated. “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].”
Hustle head coach Glynn Cyprien said on Twitter that American Airlines needs “sensitivity training to attendants on flights dealing with human and blankets,” while assistant coach Darnell Lazare accused the flight attendant of racial profiling.
American Airlines Needs Sensitivity Training to Attendants on flights dealing with Humans & Blankets! 👎🏾✈️🤷🏾♂️
— Glynn Cyprien (@CoachCyprien) December 24, 2017
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
Teague is a former first-round pick out of Kentucky who last appeared in the NBA in 2014. Burrell played two seasons at Memphis before going pro in 2016 and joining the G League (then still called the D League). The Memphis Hustle is an official affiliate of the Grizzlies.