Last week, we brought you the controversial story of a college football player who was arrested when he refused to pull up his sagging pants while boarding a plane. According to a spokesperson for the airline that called the police, US Airways, the airline forbids “indecent exposure or inappropriate” attire. Fair enough. So how does the airline explain letting a man in women’s panties fly without incident, and despite customer complaints, just days earlier?
The man pictured above flew through the San Francisco airport six days before the saggy-pants incident with 20-year-old Deshon Marman. Jill Tarlow, a passenger who took the picture, turned it over to the airline to complain. And according to her, others did as well. The airline, however, ignored those complaints. And it says it was right to do so.
“We don’t have a dress code policy,” U.S. Airways spokeswoman Valarie Wunder told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Obviously, if their private parts are exposed, that’s not appropriate. … So if they’re not exposing their private parts, they’re allowed to fly.”
So what about the incident with Marman? All indications are that he wasn’t arrested for exposing his “private parts,” but rather for displaying his boxers. And then refusing orders to pull his pants up.
Wunder declined to comment to the Chronicle about that question and incident.
“It just shows the hypocrisy involved,” Joe O’Sullivan, Marman’s attorney, told the Chronicle after he viewed the photo of the cross-dressing man. “They let a drag queen board a flight and welcomed him with open arms. Employees didn’t ask him to cover up. He didn’t have to talk to the pilot. They didn’t try to remove him from the plane — and many people would find his attire repugnant.”
He added, “A white man is allowed to fly in underwear without question, but my client was asked to pull up his pajama pants because they hung below his waist.”
Still, the airline did clarify one thing in Marman’s case.
“The root of the matter is, if you don’t comply with the captain’s requests,” spokeswoman Wunder told the Chronicle, “the captain has the right to handle the issue because it’s one of safety.”
But that begs the question: Wasn’t the whole incident started over his sagging pants? As video of Marman’s incident shows, the captain did, in fact, request Marman pull up his pants. And when he didn’t, things went down hill from there.
So, is there a double standard being used here?
Read the full story from the San Francisco Chronicle.