Pro Basketball Players Kicked Off Flight for Allegedly Stealing 1st-Class Blankets That Were Given to Them

Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau shouts to the Bulls’ Marquis Teague as they play the Washington Wizards at the NBA Global Games on Oct. 12, 2013, in Rio de Janeiro. (Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)

Add flying and receiving kindness to the ever growing list of things that black people can’t do. On Christmas Eve, two NBA G League players were kicked off their plane after a flight attendant accused them of stealing first-class blankets that weren’t allowed to be on their coach bodies.

According to the New York Post, Memphis Hustle guard Marquis Teague and forward Trahson Burrell were boarding a flight bound for Sioux Falls, S.D., Sunday at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport when two first-class passengers gifted them their first-class blankets.


But a black attendant for the flight, which was operated by Envoy Air, accused the players of stealing the blankets because how dare two coach passengers be in possession of two first-class blankets? The flight attendant not only accused the players of theft but also ordered them off the plane.

On. Christmas. Eve.

Nick King, No. 5, and Trahson Burrell, No. 0, of the Memphis Tigers battle for position against Domantas Sabonis, No. 11, of the Gonzaga Bulldogs at McCarthey Athletic Center on Jan. 31, 2015, in Spokane, Wash. (William Mancebo/Getty Images)

I guess the players couldn’t have returned the blankets, or I guess the passengers who gave them blankets couldn’t have cleared it all up. Nope, the only solution that was suitable in this situation was a blanket accusal and rush to judgment, and the players had to get off the plane.

“It’s 2017 and a Flight attendant for @AmericanAir sees 2 young black athletes with blankets from first class,” Hustle assistant coach Darnell Lazare‏ said on Twitter, the Post reports. “His 1st comment is ‘did you steal them’ how about you teach people to get the facts first before jumping to conclusions. 🤔#beingblackinamerican”


An airline manager reportedly apologized to the players, who were given a first-class flight to their destination. That doesn’t make it better. Unless the players were given two first-class tickets on the Great Space Coaster while being accompanied by the most interesting man in the world who just happened to have two satchels full of cash and a call-up to a respectable team headed for the NBA playoffs, then nothing makes this right.

Also, fuck this airline.

Read more at the New York Post.

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Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.