After a Black college football player was arrested at San Francisco International Airport for not complying with flight officials' requests to pull up his baggy pants, the airline's regulations are being questioned after a recently-surfaced photo revealed that a man was permitted to fly through the same airline wearing women's lingerie.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Deshon Marman, a football player from the University of New Mexico was pulled from his flight to Albuquerque on June 15 after he refused a US Airways flight attendant's initial request to pull up his sagging pajama pants. The employee, who claimed that the athlete's boxers were showing, later ordered the 20 year old to get up from his seat. After the student refused, he was arrested on suspicion of trespassing, battery and resisting arrest.
After the incident made numerous national headlines, a passenger who had flown with the airline just a week earlier, sent the Chronicle a photo of a man that was on the same flight. The photo showed a man dressed in women's lingerie and the passenger explained that she and others had complained to US Airway officials about his attire, but the attendants ultimately did nothing.
“It just shows the hypocrisy involved,” Marman's attorney, Joe O'Sullivan told the Chronicle. “They let a drag queen board a flight and welcomed him with open arms. Employees didn't ask him to cover up. He didn't have to talk to the pilot. They didn't try to remove him from the plane–and many people would find his attire repugnant. A White man is allowed to fly in underwear without question, but my client was asked to pull up his pajama pants because they hung below his waist.”
The airline told ABC News' San Francisco affiliate KGO that although they don't have an official dress code policy, passengers are still required to dress appropriately and follow employees' requests.
“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,” S.F. police Sgt. Michael Rodriguez told KGO.
Still, little explanation has been given on why the scantily-clad man was permitted to fly and Marman wasn't. A spokeswoman from the airline confirmed to the Chronicle that the company doesn't have a dress code, but passengers who dress inappropriately and have their private parts exposed are not permitted to board.
She added that airline employees were correct in not apprehending the man dressed in lingerie. But when asked about Marman, who just had his boxer shorts exposed, she declined to comment on the incident directly. She explained that the athlete was removed from the plane because he did not comply with an employee's request.
Marman's mother, Donna Doyle, believes race is a factor in why her son was removed from the airline and arrested.
“He was attacked for three reasons: his clothing, his skin and his hair,” Doyle told KGO. She admitted that her son should have complied with the employees' requests, but explained that he was upset because the reason he had returned to San Francisco was to attend his best friend's funeral, who was recently murdered.