Former National Football League player Brendan Langley, 27, was charged with assault after being filmed in a brawl with a United Airlines worker on May 19 at the Newark Airport in New Jersey. The incident was caught on video, which has gone viral after being shared on social media. A full version of the video shows the airline worker striking Langley and Langley hitting back, throwing a punch that knocks down the unnamed United worker.
Langley played briefly in the NFL for the Denver Broncos before joining the professional Canadian football team Calgary Stampeders for one season in 2021.
Langley received a single charge of assault, but the airline worker was not charged. At press time, United had not commented on whether or not the worker still has his job. The worker was taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries, but he was not arrested, The Daily Mail reported.
In a statement to The Daily Mail, a United spokesman said only: “United Airlines does not tolerate violence of any kind at our airports or onboard our planes, and we are working with local authorities to further investigate this matter.”
It has been reported that the fight began when Langley used a wheelchair to transport his luggage instead of paying for a luggage cart, which cost $5.
The incident happened at the airport check-in, and the employee fell bloodied on the luggage conveyor belt after Langley retaliated.
Other airline workers intervened, and the passenger was removed from the airport by Port Authority Police, who handle incidents in the airport.
The video has been viewed more than 11 million times since being uploaded to Twitter. Some have questioned why Langley was arrested when the video shows he wasn’t the initial aggressor but acted in self-defense.
Guess who was arrested? Not the employee, who hit first, the victim & tall Black man, Brendan Langley. This is why video is so important. Hopefully, the video will be seen, charges dropped, charges filed on the employee, & a lawsuit filed,” @ure_too_close tweeted.
“From what I’m reading, the worker slapped him first, yet it looked like Brendan Langley is getting charged,” Twitter user Michael Amaka wrote.
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This is not the first incident between a United Airlines employee and a Black passenger. In 2019, a United employee was charged for calling a Black passenger a “shining monkey.”
Carmella Davao was charged with a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct after verbally abusing Cacilie Hughes in February 2019, Business Insider reported.
Hughes, an actress and co-founder of a non-profit mentoring program, had returned home to Houston from a speaking engagement in Michigan when she approached Davao in the United terminal at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
She asked Davano if there was a refund code available.
“She started yelling at me, calling me a monkey,” said Hughes, adding that she felt “humiliated” and started crying.
Houston Police Department officers arrived and issued Davao with a citation for profane and abusive language in a public place after two eyewitnesses confirmed the incident.