Tags: Travel | nfl player | sexual assault | united airlines

NFL Player Sues Airline, Claims Sexual Assault on Flight

a united airlines jet on the tarmac
A United Airlines jet on the tarmac. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 21 May 2020 10:55 AM

An NFL player who claims he was sexually assaulted onboard a United Airlines flight is suing the airline for failing to "aid and protect its passengers."

The unnamed African American athlete filed a civil suit on Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, stating that he had been sexually harassed, assaulted, abused, and violated by an "intoxicated" female passenger who was "under the influence of drugs," The Guardian reported.

The player has kept his identity anonymous and claims the woman ripped his mask off and grabbed his crotch.

The incident took place in February on a flight from Los Angeles to Newark. Tension first arose when the female passenger took issue with the face mask the player was wearing as a form of protection against the coronavirus.

He and another passenger seated directly next to him attempted to alert the flight attendants about the harassment but their complaints were reportedly ignored.

Things escalated into sexual assault as the female passenger then grabbed and groped the player's thigh and stroked her hand "across his lap towards the inside of his leg," according to the legal document.

The player made attempts to stop the woman but when she refused, he went to seek assistance from a flight attendant. The assailant moved to the vacant seat and grabbed the second passenger's leg and "groin area."

Flight attendants eventually intervened and moved the woman, who admitted she was drinking alcohol while taking pills, to another seat.

Commenting on the lawsuit on Wednesday, lawyers representing the player and second passenger said it was "about accountability" in a statement to Guardian.

"Our goal is to shine a light on how assaults can, and are, being made on men, and not just women," they wrote. "This is significant because assault is assault, regardless of the gender, race, and physical attributes of the victim."

A United Airlines spokesperson was unable to comment on the lawsuit but said that the safety and well-being of all passengers were always a "top priority."

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An NFL player who claims he was sexually assaulted onboard a United Airlines flight is suing the airline for failing to "aid and protect its passengers."
nfl player, sexual assault, united airlines
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2020-55-21
Thursday, 21 May 2020 10:55 AM
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