Six days before a college football player was arrested at San Francisco International Airport in a dispute that began when a US Airways employee asked him to pull up his sagging pants, a man who was wearing little but women’s undergarments was allowed to fly the airline, a US Airways spokeswoman conceded Tuesday.
A photo of the scantily clad man was provided to The Chronicle by Jill Tarlow, a passenger on the June 9 flight from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Phoenix. Tarlow said other passengers had complained to airline workers before the plane boarded, but that employees had ignored those complaints.
Acceptable airline attire.
US Airways spokeswoman Valerie Wunder confirmed she’d received the photo before last week’s incident in San Francisco and had spoken to Tarlow, but said employees had been correct not to ask the man to cover himself.
“We don’t have a dress code policy,” Wunder said. “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, does that mean Deshon Marman, the University of New Mexico player yanked from an Albuquerque-bound flight June 15 at SFO, was displaying his private parts when his pajama pants sagged to mid-thigh level?
Wunder declined to comment on the incident directly. Police have said only that Marman’s boxer shorts were exposed, and his attorney said surveillance video would prove Marman’s skin had not been visible.
Police arrested Marman, 20, who grew up in San Francisco, after he allegedly refused an US Airways employee’s request to pull up his pants to keep his underwear from showing. Marman’s later refusal to comply with the pilot’s orders to get up from his seat led to his arrest on suspicion of trespassing, battery and resisting arrest, police said. The San Mateo County district attorney has not determined whether he will charge Marman.
Marman’s attorney, Joe O’Sullivan, said his client had been stereotyped by US Airways as a thug, and that the airline was guilty of racial discrimination for asking Marman to adjust his clothes. Marman is African American.