Esports Journalist Kicked Off Flight Because Of Marvel Super Hero Hat

A United Airlines passenger wearing a Black Panther baseball cap has been told to remove the headgear because it — along with a T-shirt with an upside-down American flag — makes the pilot "uncomfortable". Earlier today, freelance esports journalist Amanda Stevens shared images on Twitter from on-board a United Airlines flight to Chicago. Stevens was en route to cover the League of Legends quarterfinals but was told by flight staff that her shirt — a ASAP Rocky design pulled from stores a year ago — and baseball cap with the logo of Marvel Comics' Black Panther made the pilot uncomfortable.

The official United account tweeted Stevens in an apparent attempt to smooth things over.

Reached by phone, Stevens told us that a United representative first raised concerns when she was preparing to board flight 5183 from Albany to Chicago. Stevens told me that she turned the shirt inside out but was then told that the hat was a concern as well. She was allowed to board the plane but had a tense exchange with an attendant who asked her to place her bag under the seat in front of her. "I didn't know if I was going to be staying on the plane or not and I said that," she told me. "I was grumbling because I was frustrated."

Stevens then told me that the exchange with the flight attendant was given as the reason that she was ejected from the flight. Stevens says that she received a direct message from the official United account on Twitter and returned to the service counter at the gate under the assumption that she’d be getting booked on the next flight. However, the United employees that Stevens was dealing with retreated to an employees-only area and Stevens told me that she’d been waiting with no acknowledgement for more than two hours.

United emailed us the following statement:

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.

Originally posted on Gizmodo.


    Amanda is female?

      According to her twitter profile, that's the pronoun she uses, so yes.

      Last edited 13/10/16 8:14 pm

      Born male, I think transitioning and identifies as female from what I can figure.

      Last edited 13/10/16 8:21 pm

        Yeah I figured that as well, the stubble really threw me.

          It's fair. People can identify as what they want, but others are still allowed to ask what they want to be identified as first, without having to predict telepathically lol

            Um, you should know from my periscope, that I am a Collins Class Submarine....

            No no, I shouldn't do that with a subject I really don't want to go near with someone else's barge pole.
            Live and let live.....and let me joke about it lol

              Funny story, I've legit identified as an apache attack helicopter on Facebook due to the variety of 'genders' you can identify as lol.

              I want my 'personal identifier' to be 'whup whup whup' I will be asking for this

              I want my favorite hobby to be 'refuellingi'.


      Quite a choice of name for the given circumstance :P

    Because we all know that terrorists looking to blow up planes declare their intentions by wearing 'terrorist clothing', and then when asked to take it off will give up their cause.

    Sounds like the pilot was just being an arsehole

    Identifies as female, is perceived as a pain in the arse. Do what you're told, stop being a child.

      Seriously? You actually don't see the issue here?

      Exactly. Can't help but think some kind of rights related tantrum was thrown.

        You have no proof of that whatsoever, so all you've got is a dumbass comment.

    so im guessing that the pilot must be around 50-60 years old and doesnt know that Black Panther is not a domestic terror group (that samuel l jackson use to be apart of) but is a popular comic book hero.

    Seems to me the Pilot is a closet Racist.

      No closet about it, he's just racist.

        So a kkk hat would have been ok?
        Wait they're not a terrorist organisation.

    I don't see how this is racist. The pilot was worried by clothing that he perceived as threatening. If the pilot is uncomfortable with the passenger then the passenger can get a refund or bumped to a different flight.


      If the person is acting shady, sure. If they're acting nervous or suspicious, fine. But wearing a hat and a shirt is not grounds for this shit, regardless of what they fucking say.

      If you are a pilot, the only clothing you should give a damn about is a vest covered in bombs.
      If you are a pilot, then you should be in the fucking cockpit flying and not paying attention to the god damn passengers.
      If you are a pilot and people's clothes are making you uncomfortable, then you should be getting a new career because clearly you don't have the nerves for flying a damn plane.

      And seriously? Not racist? It's AMERICA, nearing the end of an election featuring possibly the most racist person to ever live, the person detained is black and both of the items of clothing shown are black. Tell me how it's NOT racism.

        Most racist person to ever live? Nice hyperbole.

        In all fairness, the described reactions of the people involved speak of fear and the person in question reluctantly admits to have been "grumbling". We only have one side of the story and while it's quite bad that he was singled and targeted over clothing to begin with, the issue may have been compounded by poor reactions like yelling or behaving in a threatening or intimidating way.

        I don't think this has anything to do with race. I just think it's a misunderstanding. Black Panthers is the name of a black supremecist, terrorist group created in the mid-60's. The pilot may have never heard of the Black Panther Super Hero, so it makes sense that he would associate the name with the other famous thing using that name. I'm sure the shirt just confirmed the pilot's suspicions to him. Naturally, he wouldn't want somebody that he thinks is a terrorist on his plane.

        the items of clothing shown are black. Tell me how it's NOT racism.
        Are you trying to tell me that clothes can be different races?

        They're racist because they're American.
        Is that not in itself discriminating, Stereotyping etc?

      You are either blind or dumb if you dont see this as plain racism.

        Upside down flag and Black Panther Hat, which shares a name with a Terrorist group from America about 20 years or so. so not necessarily racism but poorly handled. if it was racism other black people on the plane would have also been targeted but that didn't happen. Just because the "victim" is black doesn't mean it was racially motivated.

          Let's be honest. A white guy wearing exactly the same attire wouldn't have been given a second look.

            Most likely because the context would be changed. A white person is not likely to be a part of the Black Panthers.

              I'm glad somebody else is able to take a step back and see context.

              Fair enough. Now tell me whether you believe that a skin-head with a visible swastika would also be asked to leave the plane.

                In Germany or other countries in that area they'd be arrested as well.

                He may have been. I don't know if skinheads as a group have been registered as terrorists.

                  You can't make an ideology a terrorist group. Many neo nazi organisations are listed as terrorist groups though.

        Not very constructive. Somebody disagrees with you and you resort to insults.

    "Excuse me, can you explain the artwork on your shirt? Its may be causing a misunderstanding to fellow passengers"
    "Oh this?, its a super hero comic called black panther. You know in the Captain America:Civil War Movie? recently"
    "Oh? Let me google that quickly and get back to you"
    "Err, Captain. I googled it and its comic book character..."
    "So, we've cleared up the misunderstanding. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. On the other hand, could you consider removing the cap indoors? its not really sunny in here..."

    Seems like that'd clear the whole thing up. If one side apologised, and the other took off the cap indoors...

    Is this a situation about a journalist being indignant? or an airline crew being racist/stupid?...

    Last edited 14/10/16 11:35 am

    Hey I actually have the same shirt :) Black Scale FTW. I can forgive the Pilot for not being familiar with contemporary urban fashion and taking offence with the shirt. But that hat? Come on man...

    Last edited 14/10/16 12:20 pm

      I actually understand him taking offence with the hat more. He clearly thought that it was a hat showing support for the terrorist group, Black Panthers.

    I'm assuming the pilot may be old. Upside down US flag, self identifying Black Panthers assassinating cops (not just in the 60s), I'd probably feel awkward too if I didn't know the difference between Black Panther and the Black Panthers.

    Eeeerrrmmm, why did my comments get deleted? @kotakuinternational
    was it the tongue in cheek hashtags i put in there?
    moderation without communication. bravo. my comments werent even offensive.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now