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British boxer Amir Khan has accused American Airlines of picking on him for the colour of his skin.
Khan was onboard a flight to Colorado from New York with his colleague earlier this month when he was asked to come off his phone by a member of staff because he was on a call, and to put his device on aeroplane mode.
The boxer claims that he came off his call immediately, and put his phone away after being asked to do so.
Soon after stopping the plane, the doors opened and three officers came onboard to escort both Khan and his colleague off the plane. Airline staff reportedly said the pair were not cooperating with them.
Following the ordeal, the boxer shared a video to Twitter detailing his experiences and branded the way the two of them had been treated as ‘disgusting’.
He wrote on September 18, ‘Disgusted to be banned by @AmericanAir and @traveloneworld for not been able to fly to training camp, I got escorted by police off the plane for no reason. I would like to see evidence for any wrong doings!’
Watch the video here:
In the wake of the ordeal, Khan has accused the way the airline acted as being racially motivated, especially as his flight was just days after 9/11‘s 20th anniversary.
Speaking to Sky News today, September 27, the 34-year-old said, ‘I just feel like I was treated very badly. It was a week after 9/11 and I do feel like things were a little bit tense. To be picked on, two Asian boys sat at the front. Being pulled off the plane, it was quite embarrassing really.’
He went on to say that the ordeal was ‘definitely’ racially motivated
Following Khan’s complaints, a spokesperson for the airline has issued a statement addressing the matter.
They said, as per MailOnline:
Prior to take-off, American Airlines Flight 700, with service from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), returned to the gate to deplane two customers who reportedly refused to comply with repeated crew member requests to stow luggage, place cell phones in airplane mode and adhere to federal face covering requirements.
‘Our Customer Relations team is reaching out to Mr Khan to learn more about his experience and reinforce the importance of policies implemented for the safety of our customers and crew,’ they continued.
Despite the airline’s statement, Khan continues to deny any wrongdoing.
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