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Passenger Says She Was Booted Off Flight For Wearing Black Panther Hat

Amanda Stevens said she was kicked off a United Airlines flight because her attire made the pilot "uncomfortable."

Amanda Stevens says she was booted from a recent flight because, she says she was told, her outfit made a pilot “uncomfortable.”

Stevens, who is a journalist, was boarding her flight from Albany to Chicago to cover a tournament when she says a United employee raised concerns about her A$AP Rocky shirt, which features a black and white American flag flipped upside down. She turned the shirt inside out but, she says, she was then told she had to remove her hat emblazoned with Marvel’s Black Panther logo as well. She tweeted about her experience, sharing photos of her outfits, which she says she’s worn on flights in the past.

Stevens told Buzzfeed that she believes she did nothing wrong, but a flight attendant told her that the pilot “expressed concerns and discomfort over the shirt you’re wearing.” 

The 28-year-old tweeted that the pilot gave her a “smug look” when he walked past her and that she felt “uncomfortable having a racist pilot.”

She refused to remove the hat; she tweeted that she was “kicked off the flight.”

A representative from United, whom Stephens mentioned in her tweets, responded to Stevens asking her to direct message her flight information. The airline offered her a seat on a later flight to Chicago and a first-class upgrade on her return flight, according to Buzzfeed.

Stevens, who is a black trans woman, said her identity has a lot to do with the unfair treatment she received. She told Buzzfeed that she is usually screened twice when going through TSA.

“My father is black, my mom is Caucasian, and people assume I’m Middle Eastern,” she said. “I’ve always grown up with problems, I’ve always dealt with racism.”

United responded to the incident in a statement to HuffPost:

”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 returned to Albany on her upgraded United flight on Tuesday -- wearing the same hat -- and shared that she didn't get booted this time around. 

 

 The Huffington Post has reached out to Stevens for comment. 

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