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United Airlines worker reportedly fired after trying in vain to fight ex-NFL player at airport in one-sided slugfest caught on video

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Image source: TMZ video screenshot

The United Airlines worker caught on video fighting a passenger — who turned out to be an ex-NFL player — at an airport last week has been fired, the New York Post reported.

“United Ground Express informed us that the employee has been terminated,” an airline representative said in an email, the Post said, adding that United Ground Express is a connection subsidiary for United Airlines.

What's the background?

The unidentified UA employee squared off against Brendan Langley, 27, about 11 a.m. Thursday at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, the paper said. It's unclear who instigated the dust-up, but the Daily Mail said it's believed to have stemmed from Langley using a wheelchair to transport his luggage instead of a luggage cart.

Langley was the Denver Broncos' 2017 third-round draft pick, played cornerback and returned kicks, and appeared in 16 games for the Broncos in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He's now with the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League.

Initially Langley appears to get the better of the employee, slapping him once and punching him several times in the face, sending him backward into the UA counter. But the employee nevertheless marches forward, puts up his fists, and slaps Langley in the face, too:

Image source: TMZ video screenshot

After getting slapped, the Langley hollers, "You saw that s**t?" and punches the employee hard in the face, knocking him backward again into the counter. Langley then lands a second punch, and this wallop sends the worker behind the desk, after which he tumbles over an object — his feet swinging back and above his head — and then halls flat on the floor:

Image source: TMZ video screenshot

Image source: TMZ video screenshot

Despite his bloody face and appearing woozy, the UA worker manages to stagger to his feet and come back out and confront Langley again:

Image source: TMZ video screenshot

"He wants more!" Langley hollers.

No other violence ensues as another individual — apparently a UA employee — comes into the frame and puts her hand up as if to call an end to the fighting.

Langley loudly adds, "He works at the airport, and he assaulted me!"

Here's the clip. (Content warning: Language):

What happened next?

Langley was arrested and charged with simple assault, TMZ reported, citing police. But the outlet added that the airline employee wasn't arrested despite Langley's claim of not throwing the first punch.

The football player had plenty to say about the incident on Twitter, noting on the day of the incident that "how u start a fight w someone, get beat up to the point where EMS gotta come do ur stitches on sight & somehow u get up saying the other person is weak lol the way ppl perceive things is funny ..."

Langley also called Newark airport "the devil" and told United Airlines "y'all ain't off the hook… worst customer experience in the entirety of my life on Heaven!!!!"

Responding to a TMZ report on the fight, Langley added "its crazy how u can get assaulted by an actual airline employee and defend urself, but media will run the narrative that they want to. This is the problem in our society today smh; don't believe everything u read! @TMZ tbh this is sh**ty of y'all. Taking another man's pain as a joke."

He also said "u can clearly see soooo many @united employees watching everything unfold while I'm basically begging for help. craziest part not one of them helped de-escalate the situation! It was like they wanted it to happen. Like I had a target on my back."

Langley added that "every angle shows me walking away from buddy; I had a whole ass flight that morning I did not want any smoke! He followed me all the way down to the kiosk just to cause me bodily harm. I'm honestly still shocked."

Anything else?

"United Airlines does not tolerate violence of any kind at our airports or on board our planes, and we are working with local authorities to further investigate this matter," the carrier told the Daily Mail in a statement.

The Calgary Stampeders said they are investigating the incident, the Post said, citing CNN: “The Calgary Stampeders football club is aware of the reports concerning Brendan Langley ... The team is currently looking into the matter in order to learn the full details and will have no further comment until the investigation is complete."

The paper added that Port Authority police have not responded to its inquiry about possible charges against the fired worker.

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