Airline apologizes to Charlotte cancer survivor told to remove hoodie with vulgar word
American Airlines apologized after a two-time cancer survivor was told that she was unable to board a flight from Los Angeles to Charlotte because of a vulgar word in an anti-cancer message on her yellow hoodie.
"Tell me why the American Airlines guy just told me, if I'm not wearing a sweatshirt, that I can't get on the plane?" Charlotte's Roslyn Singleton said in an Instagram video.
The words "(expletive) cancer" were written on the hoodie. Her attorney, James Walker Jr., of Atlanta, said, "Millions have said it before, and that statement is not illegal."
Walker called what happened to Singleton "a violation of their constitutional rights".
Singleton is an eight-year Navy veteran who has fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, Walker said in a statement.
In a statement to The Charlotte Observer on Wednesday, American Airlines said its policy "prohibits the wearing on board of clothing that contains offensive statements and inappropriate language".
The staff Singleton encountered at the LA airport should have "considered the broader context of the message displayed on the customer's shirt in explaining our policies," according to the AA statement.
"Our team worked to learn more about Ms. Singleton's experience and to apologize and reaffirm our support for efforts to fight cancer," said AA officials.
"Very disrespectful and embarrassing"
On Instagram, Roslyn Singleton said she pulled a jacket over her hoodie "because I didn't want any problems." But when she and her husband were about to board the flight, another AA agent came up to them and said, "I was made aware that there was a problem," said Singleton. "I had no idea what was going on because I had my jacket on."
In a follow-up clip she made after arriving at Dallas-Forth Worth Airport on the first leg of her flight, Singleton said the airline "did a very disrespectful and embarrassing thing to me in LA."
She also wrote on Instagram: “@americanair Let me publicly apologize to you for having such a strong stance on cancer. I hope other cancer survivors and fighters don't go through this !! Never again ...."
Singleton and her husband Ray were in the national spotlight in February 2020 when he serenaded them on "The Ellen Show".
The segment, titled "Ellen Meets Uplifting Husband And Inspirational Wife In The Fight Against Cancer," received nearly 2.2 million views on YouTube.
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