A transgender freelance e-sports journalist believes she was wrongfully kicked off of a United Airlines flight because of her clothing. Amanda Stevens was set to fly from Albany to Chicago to cover the online game League of Legends quarterfinals when she fell victim to what she believes was racism and discrimination.
Stevens boarded the flight wearing an A$AP Rocky designed PacSun shirt — which was pulled from stores several years ago — and a baseball cap with the Marvel Comics Black Panther logo. Stevens documented the entire ordeal on her Twitter page.
“Dear @united,” Stevens wrote. “This shirt shouldn’t make your pilot uncomfortable enough to warrant having me spoken to and told to take it off,” she continued and included an image of the shirt with the black and white upside down flag.
As Stevens’s interaction with the flight crew continued, she was eventually told to remove her hat, which represents a comic book character and has nothing to do with the Black Panther social justice organization.
“And now I’m being told I can’t wear my hat,” Stevens tweeted. “@united this is unreal and f**king racist.”
According to Stevens, the pilot felt “uncomfortable” enough with her clothing that they requested that she be removed from the flight, which she ultimately was.
Later on, i09 reported that Stevens was in communication with United and they put on another flight to Chicago. The airline did release a statement. However, based on their explanation, it’s clear they are not taking accountability for any possible discrimination.
“We have reached out to Ms. Campos to discuss her concerns. Our goal is to provide safe and comfortable travel for all of our customers and we regret that Ms. Campos was unhappy with the handling of the seat assignments on her flight. United holds our employees to the highest standards of professionalism and has zero tolerance for discrimination.”
Stevens also told i09 that her name is not and never was Campos.
We've reached out to Amanda Stevens and she gave BET Digital News the following statement:
"I've worn the shirt in question multiple times in the past, while flying, with zero incident so I am shocked that it caused such a stir this time around. To the people who have been inundating my Twitter with hate while accusing me of pulling the race card; I ask them what other rationale conclusion do you arrive at when being asked to remove a Black Panther hat? I hope that United changes their broad stroke policy that allows pilots to remove passengers that causes them "discomfort" and that a formal apology is released. Aside from that, thank you to all those who have reached out with support and love. It has been appreciated and noted."
(Photo: Amanda Stevens)