Eric Murdock, a retired NBA player, filed a $10 million lawsuit against United Airlines and accused one of its flight attendants of “race baiting.”
Sports Illustrated reports that Murdock claims in his suit that he took a flight from Las Vegas to New Jersey on July 23 and asked a white flight attendant if he could switch his seat to an empty one in the emergency row. He requested that seat so he could sit next to his son, who was traveling with him.
But the attendant told Murdock that seating in the emergency row costs a premium price, but she wouldn’t relay the costs. Then to help out, another passenger who was going to take the seat offered it to Murdock, so he took it.
Later, however, the flight attendant told him to return to his purchased seat, because the emergency row needed to be empty.
Then 30 minutes later, the attendant allowed a white woman to take that same seat, although she had said the row had to be unblocked.
This is where another Black passenger by the name of Brenda Williams comes in, because she witnessed the whole thing and is now a co-plaintiff in the suit. At the time of the alleged incident, Williams didn’t know Murdock, but she asked the attendant why he received such poor treatment.
From there, Williams alleged the attendant screamed and said mind your business. The attendant also tried to take Williams’ cellphone away after she thought their back-and-forth was being recorded.
Then later, when that same attendant wheeled the drink cart down the aisle and arrived at Murdock, she allegedly asked him if he was “going to boycott” getting a beverage.
Both Murdock and Williams were escorted off the plane when the flight landed, detained by armed TSA agents, but let go without any charges.
At this point, United Airlines said they’re looking into the incident.
“At United, we proudly hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind,” said a United Airlines representative.