Ex-unified light-welterweight world boxing champion Amir Khan made headlines when he and his companion were removed from an American Airlines flight. American Airline said that both “reportedly refused to comply with repeated crew members’ requests” during their flight. A native of Bolton, England and raised by Pakistani parents, Khan believes that the incident was racially motivated.
According to Khan, the police escorted them off the plane and “banned” them from flying American Airlines on September 18. Khan was scheduled to fly from New York to Colorado as he planned to prepare for an upcoming bout against Kell Brook.
Khan spoke on social media about the incident saying that he was “disgusted” by the way he was treated. He said that his colleague was also removed from the flight when his mask “was not high enough”.
According to American Airlines, both Khan and his colleague were “deplaned” when they failed to comply to stow their luggage, place their phones in airplane mode, and follow the face mask requirement.
Khan insists American Airlines isn’t telling the truth. He said that he was asked to turn his phone off once, and he did immediately. In an interview, Khan was asked if he thinks that his removal was racially motivated. Khan said “Definitely, definitely.” He added that “I’m going to stand by that. It was 9/11 a week before that, then having two Asian boys sat at the front”. However, Khan said that “I hope I’m wrong. But I had done nothing wrong.”. He calls the incident embarrassing for both of them.
According to Khan, they were sitting in seats 1A and 1B with his colleague. After taking their seats, he was asked to end a phone call which he did right away. The boxing champion also said that his colleague was asked to pull his mask above the nose. Khan believes that it simply slipped when he was taking a sip of water. Khan explained that “I just feel I was treated really badly”.