NFL Player Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against United Airlines

The unidentified player claims he was harassed on a February flight from LA to Newark

NFL Player Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against United Airlines
A United Airlines plane sits at a gate Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. (Drew Angerer/Getty)
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By Evan Bleier / May 21, 2020 6:02 am

An unnamed NFL player has filed a civil lawsuit against United Airlines in Los Angeles County Superior Court that alleges he was sexually harassed, assaulted and violated by a female passenger on a February flight.

On the flight from Los Angeles to Newark, the woman allegedly made “unwanted sexual advances” toward the player, grabbing his penis and then ripping off the face mask he was wearing to protect himself from coronavirus.

“Fearful of the perception of being a male victim and the racial stigma of being a young African American male, John Doe 1 patiently pleaded for the assailant to stop and removed her hand,” the suit says.

The unknown player (John Doe 1) and his friend (John Doe 2) claim they made four complaints to flight attendants before the woman, who was allegedly intoxicated and taking prescription pills, was moved to a different seat.

“This matter is about accountability; not just from United but the assailant as well,” an attorney for the men said, according to NBC. “Those with a duty to others should be held accountable for their failures to uphold their responsibilities. Those who report assaults should not be ignored, but believed, their claims investigated, and appropriate action taken where warranted.”

The suit seeks unspecified statutory and punitive damages from the airline.

A spokesperson for United issued the following statement: “The safety and well-being of our customers is always our top priority. In this instance, the customer involved was moved to a different seat. Because litigation is now pending, we’re unable to provide further comment.”

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