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Last week, a freelance journalist on a flight from New York City to Chicago claims she was a victim of racial profiling when the captain of the plane made her turn a shirt inside out and take off a hat that said “Black Panther.”
According to FoxNews.com, Amanda Stevens was preparing to board a United Airlines flight when a gate attendant told her the pilot requested she change her shirt or turn it inside out due to it having an upside down American flag design on the front.
Stevens was informed that she had done nothing wrong, but that the captain was uncomfortable with the shirt. After turning it inside out, she was able to board the flight, but that wasn’t the end of her ordeal.
Once on the plane, Stevens was approached a second time by an attendant who informed her that the pilot was concerned about her hat, which had the words “Black Panther” emblazoned on it. Despite telling crew members that it was a Marvel hat based on a superhero character, she was told to remove it.
Stevens refused to remove the hat, and attendants informed her that she would be forced to leave the plane for after failing to comply with the pilot’s orders. United Airlines' contract of carriage says the company has the right to refuse transport to anyone not properly clothed or failing to comply with any member of the flight crew.
Following the incident, Stevens was offered a first-class ticket on a later flight by United Airlines, and the company stated that it has “zero tolerance for discrimination.”
“We are in contact with Ms. Stevens to discuss this matter further,” United Airlines said in a statement. “Both United and SkyWest hold our employees to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination.”