ESPN’s Desmond Howard blew up on social media Tuesday after sharing the story of a fellow passenger who tried to have the veteran college football analyst and former Heisman Trophy winner removed from a flight because he was “sick” — which he wasn’t.
Howard posted a video on his Twitter account that has almost 1 million views in which he said the passenger tried to have him kicked off of the American Airlines flight for coughing. Howard, who in 1991 became only the third receiver to win the Heisman, explained how the ordeal unfolded, which you can watch below.
“So I’m on this American Airlines flight, and before we took off, this supervisor comes up and speaks to the guy sitting next to me,” Howard said. “She says, ‘You wanted to talk to me?’ He says ‘Yeah, I think you should remove this gentleman from the plane, because he’s sick,’ talking about me.”
Howard continued, “And I said ‘Oh, I’m sorry, are you a doctor?’ He says ‘Well, you’ve been coughing all over the place.’ This is before we even took off, right? So I said ‘Well, you can leave the plane and take another flight, because I’m not leaving. All I was doing was clearing my throat.’”
Howard said the fellow passenger continued to insist he be removed from the flight and even brought up his status with the airline.
“So Carol, the supervisor, she’s looking, and guess what card he tried to play? He said, ‘I’m sure if you checked our status, my status is higher than his,'” Howard said. “So I said to Carol, ‘Yeah, check our seats and let me know whose status is the highest.’ And as you can see, I’m still sitting on this plane.”
Howard then turned his video toward the man sitting next to him to show the perpetrator.
“As a matter of fact, we’re in the air right now. The Caucasity of him! Unbelievable. All right, everybody, you guys have a happy Sunday. Peace.”
American Airlines doesn’t require passengers to wear facemasks on board. The airline did tweet in response to Howard’s video and said, “We’re always happy to have you on board with us!”