In a nation at odds over Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protests, the Black Lives Matter movement, and Clinton vs. Trump, United Airways seems to have gotten its wires crossed over the meaning of a passenger’s baseball cap and T-shirt.
According to i09.com, e-sports journalist Amanda Stevens clashed with a United Airways pilot and flight attendants because of her Black Panther hat and a T-shirt that depicted an upside-down flag and anarchy “A” on its sleeve (the former a piece of Marvel Comics merchandise, and the latter a discontinued A$AP Rocky design). The pilot, presumably confusing Black Panther with the Black Panther Party, reportedly said the outfit made him “uncomfortable. “
— Amanda Stevens (@sagegnosis) October 12, 2016
The situation started even before boarding, when Stevens said she was told her shirt was a concern. After turning her shirt inside out, Stevens was cautioned that her hat also may be an, but she was still permitted to board the plane. Following another exchange with a flight attendant, Stevens tweeted a photo of her hat to the United Airways corporate account. The airline responded on social media, but Stevens was removed from the flight, with her exchange with the flight attendant cited as the reason.
When contacted by io9.com, United Airways issued the following statement: “We are in contact with Ms. Stevens to discuss this matter further. Both United and SkyWest hold our employees to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination.”
Stevens boarded a new flight, although it’s not clear whether it was United Airlines, and arrived at her destination. She continued to tweet about the experience last night, and responded to words of support from “Black Panther” writer Ta-Nahisi Coates:
Alright, this is dope. What happened today sucks, but since it led to this….dope https://t.co/cFZV9GXyLb
— Amanda Stevens (@sagegnosis) October 13, 2016
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