Ex-NBA Player Files Lawsuit Against United Airlines For ‘Race-Baiting’
By Sharelle Burt
Retired NBA player Eric Murdock is suing United Airlines for allegedly ‘race-baiting’ him.
On a flight from Las Vegas to New Jersey, the former Nets player wanted a seat change to sit next to his son. After one flight attendant approved the change, another came over to object. Shortly after, Murdock said a white passenger changed seats in the same section but wasn’t greeted with grief. Instead, she was offered drinks.
The 50-year-old was surprised, but he wasn’t the only one. A fellow passenger, Brenda Williams, stood up for the former player. Williams, also African-American, was told to stay out of it and was also asked to give up her phone after she was accused of recording the incident. “Erase the video now, or give me your phone!” the flight attendant said. “It’s against the law to record me!” The flight attendant still had more to say after Murdock and Williams returned to their seats. She asked Murdock if he wanted a drink or if he was “going to boycott?” The lawsuit called this an “obvious race-baiting.”
Once the plane landed, the two passengers were greeted by four armed TSA agents and after an interview, were allowed to get their luggage. A representative from United said, “At United, we proudly hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.” Erin Benson continued to say “we are looking into the allegations, and because we have not yet been served with the lawsuit, we are unable to provide further comment.”
Murdock says he never thought he would be in this situation, but he wasn’t going to let it slide. “In this divisive time people are emboldened to be the worst version of themselves,” Murdock said. “I never thought that I would personally be in this position, but neither will I back down. If I can use the fame and respect which I have gained to achieve social change I will.”