I travel pretty frequently and I must admit that most of the time, I sit as far away as possible from the “baggy pants” crowd or just strange people in general because I do not want to be guilty by association of the potential hooliganism that will undoubtedly ensue. Sorry, that’s just how I feel.
In the case of DeShon Marman (a black college football player), I probably would have given him half a side-eye because of his baggy pants or pajama pants as KTVU reported. I would have just shaken my head and prayed silently that someday, he would realize that it’s just not worth it. Perhaps, that day has come, albeit under unfortunate and unfair circumstances.
I initially read this story in passing, shook my head, and kept it moving until it came out that the man pictured below was allowed to board a US Airways flight six days later, no questions asked, and in spite of complaints from other passengers.
US Airways has maintained that in each instance, employees acted correctly, stating that while they do not have a dress code policy, as long as a passenger is not “exposing their private parts, they’re allowed to fly”.
Show of hands, who wants to sit next to this guy on a plane? That’s what I thought, but the most egregious part of this story is a US Airways employee has said that Marman’s pants were sagging and “his boxer shorts were showing”, but no one has said that Marman was exposing anything other than his Hanes. In fact, his attorney asserts that security footage will prove that Marman was not showing any skin. So if all of this is true, how can Valerie Wunder, spokesperson for US Airways, tell us with a straight face that employees acted correctly in allowing a man in women’s underwear to board a plane, while arresting another man, who was more fully clothed, for refusing to pull up his pants?
While the blatant inconsistency and lack of substantive explanation from US Airways is upsetting, that’s not what we should be upset about. The real lesson in this story is that to be treated better, we need to be better and do better. DeShon Marman didn’t have to wear pajamas out in public (if that is in fact true), nor did he have to wear pants of any kind below his waist, where they belong. One ESPN writer argues that Marman knew better because his mother had told him to pull his pants up many times before, yet for whatever reason, he chose to ignore that advice.
Now, I will say again, I do not agree with how the situation was handled. No one should have to experience the humiliation of being led away in handcuffs and I sincerely hope that he and his family are getting the emotional and legal support they need to move past this ordeal. However, if he decides to take his case to a court of law, I hope he wears a suit…and a belt.
Do you think US Airways made the right choice in each instance? Do you think race was a factor?