Amir Khan has doubled down on claims that he was 'picked on' by American Airlines staff when he was thrown off a flight shortly after the anniversa
Amir Khan has doubled down on claims that he was ‘picked on’ by American Airlines staff when he was thrown off a flight shortly after the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks earlier this month. The 34-year-old and his friend were recently ejected from a scheduled service to New York from Colorado Springs, with stewards citing a number of rule breaches before forcing the pair to leave the plane.
Khan has been widely tipped to face long-time rival Kell Brook in the near future, with both fighters reportedly keen to finally meet in the ring before their respective retirements.
The former has been inactive since his win over Billy Dibb in Saudi Arabia two years ago and was on his way to Colorado Springs in order to begin his next training camp.
However, he was swiftly kicked off the flight before it had left the runway, with three police officers entering the cabin to order him and his friend to leave.
Khan has since opened up on the incident in question, admitting that he was shocked and embarrassed by the situation that led to his enforced exit.
“I got on the plane and I was sat in seat number 1A, 1B was my friend who was coming to training camp with me,” he told Sky News.
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“I was on a phone call, and the air stewardess said to me to put my phone call down, which I did, I didn’t argue and I had my mask on, everything was fine.
“So my friend was having a drink of water, pulled his mask down a little bit to have a sip of water, and she comes over and says: ‘Please put your mask up’.
“It must have been below his nose. So he fixed that, the plane’s moving now, and I’m leaning on the window trying to fall asleep, I was on the way to Colorado for training camp.
“And then the plane stops and I pull up my window to see what happened, and before you know it the doors open up and three officers walk in.
“The air stewardess asked if me and my friend could leave. I’d done nothing wrong, my mask was always up.
“I feel that I got treated so badly, it was quite embarrassing standing up in front of a full plane.”
A statement by American Airlines alleged that Khan consistently ignored requests to properly stow away hand luggage, put his phone on aeroplane mode and wear a face covering at all times.
However, Khan has angrily disputed these claims, suggesting that the incident may have even been racially motivated.
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“They said that we were not paying attention to instructions they were giving us,” he continued.
“They said in a press release that my bag was out, that I wasn’t listening, that I was arguing with them.
“I never did, and my bag was up in the storage area. I just feel that I was treated really badly, it was a week after [the anniversary of] 9/11, things were a little bit tense.
“But to be picked on, two Asian boys sat at the front being pulled out in front of a full plane, it was quite embarrassing really.”