How was your Christmas Eve?
Chances are, it wasn’t quite as melodramatic as the one the Memphis Hustle’s Marquis Teague and Trahson Burrell endured.
The two players were kicked off of their American Airlines/Envoy flight from Dallas, TX to Sioux Falls, SD after they were accused of stealing blankets from first class by a flight attendant, according to The Undefeated’s Marc Spears.
The report states that the blankets were given to the two G-League players as a gesture from those sitting in first class where blankets were issued. As Teague and Burrell made their way to their seats in coach, the flight attendant accused them of stealing said blankets. After an argument, American Airlines placed the two players as well as an assistant coach on a later flight to Sioux Falls, causing the three to miss their team holiday dinner.
Two Memphis Hustle coaches vented their frustrations on Twitter after the incident, indicating that the flight crew completely overreacted:
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
What started out as an act of kindness on Christmas Eve between strangers evolved into an ugly incident because blankets are the hill on which to die. Completely and totally understandable for a company whose CEO said “I don’t think we’re ever going to lose money again” and claimed his company should clear $3 billion in profits a year in a Q&A with reporters and analysts this fall.
Luckily, the blankets were kept safe on their original flight while the three Memphis Hustle (Hustles? Hustlii?) were forced to change theirs.
American Airlines issued this statement in response to the incident:
The players and coach were able to join their team, however, en route to a 131-115 victory over the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Christmas Day.