Football Player Arrested for Attempting to Board Plane Wearing Saggy Pants

U.S. Airways says underwear-exposing pants violated dress code.

Posted: 06/17/2011 09:09 AM EDT
DeShon Marman, U.S. Airways

There are lots of objects that threaten our security in our nation’s airports. The TSA is on the constant look out for guns, knives, bombs, suspicious powers and liquids. Now it looks like we might need to add saggy pants to the danger list.

In one of the most bizarre incidents in recent memory, University of New Mexico football player DeShon Marman was arrested Wednesday while trying to board a U.S. Airways flight from San Francisco back to Albuquerque when he was questioned about his saggy pants. According to an Associated Press story, an airline employee noticed Marman’s pants were “below his buttocks, but above the knees, and his boxer shorts were showing.”

Marman, who was returning from a close friend’s funeral, refused to pull up his pants when asked. The 20-year-old safety for the Lobos was then asked to leave the plane, according to the report.

That’s when things probably got a little out of hand and Marman was arrested and charged with trespassing, battery and resisting arrest. He was still being held on an $11,000 bond on Thursday afternoon.

"He was not threatening anybody directly, but being on board an aircraft and being disruptive to the aircraft crew interferes with their duties and that could be a safety factor," San Francisco Police Department spokesman Sgt. Michael Rodriguez told ABC affiliate KGO-TV in San Francisco.

No matter where you come down on the saggy pants issue, this was wrong. The airlines claims it has a dress code that forbids “indecent exposure or inappropriate” attire. It would be interesting to see where such a warning is posted.

Certainly, the saggy pants that expose undergarments can be a little troubling. But it has also become a bit of a fashion statement for the younger generation. The message in advertising is that the style is acceptable for the younger generation although it makes many of us cringe.

So the airline and its employees were wrong and very much out of line if its dress code isn’t made clear. And even still there is so much ambiguity in indecent exposure and inappropriate attire that this rule will be hard to apply.

Would a woman wearing a cut off shirt that exposes her belly button make the cut? Or what about the young man with his exposed body covered in tattoos and visible piercings in nose, tongue and chin? Where do we draw the line?

Personally, I find the saggy pants repulsive. But I have a bigger problem with discrimination and lack of uniformity.

It sounds like Mr. Marman could have handled the situation a little better, but he is 20 and his emotions were probably hanging off his sleeve having just buried his buddy who died as a result of a senseless shooting.

Contact Terrance Harris at terrancefharris@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris

 

(Photo: AP Photo/University of New Mexico)

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