American apologizes to black athletes for theft accusation

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines says it is reviewing why two professional basketball players were removed from a Sioux City, S.D.-bound flight on Sunday.

An airline spokesman said Tuesday that Memphis Hustle guard Marquis Teague and forward Trahson Burrell had boarded Flight 3756 operated by Envoy Air at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Two first-class passengers gave the players their blankets as they headed to their seats in coach.

The black players were accused by a black flight attendant of stealing the blankets, and they were forced off the plane.

Spokesman Joshua Freed said an airline manager later apologized to the players and they traveled in first class on a later flight.

American Airlines chief executive Doug Parker said in a letter to employees last month that the company would implement implicit-bias training. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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