Home Culture Fashion Esports journalist taken off flight because she was wearing a Marvel cap

Esports journalist taken off flight because she was wearing a Marvel cap


Yesterday eSports reporter Amanda Stevens was on her way to the League of Legends World Championship Chicago when her apparel – an A$AP Rocky t-shirt and a Black Panther cap purchased at Hot Topic, made the flight crew uncomfortable. She was removed from the flight.


Stevens, who is trans, tweeted about the experience and spoke to io9’s Evan Narcisse about the incident:

UPDATE, 3:53 p.m.: Reached by phone, Stevens told io9 that a United representative first raised concerns when she was preparing to board flight 5183 from Albany to Chicago. Stevens told me that she’s flown in this outfit before but turned the shirt inside out. She was then told that the hat was a concern as well. She was allowed to board the plane but had a tense exchange with an attendant who asked her to place her bag under the seat in front of her. “I didn’t know if I was going to be staying on the plane or not and I said that,” she told me. “I was grumbling because I was frustrated.”

Stevens then told me that the exchange with the flight attendant was given as the reason that she was ejected from the flight.

United Airlines later also responded to Narcisse:

We are in contact with Ms. Stevens to discuss this matter further. Both United and SkyWest hold our employees to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination.

If you want my hot take on this it’s: WTF??!!?? I know humiliation is the price we can pay when choosing to fly the friendly skies, but this is outrageous.

More hats from Hot Topic you probably shouldn’t wear on United:

And definitely this T-shirt:

PS: I’m FB friends with Stevens, and I’m going to police the comments here VERY carefully.


  1. Completely outrageous. I wonder if United Airlines would have let Amanda stay on the plane if the hat had a Confederate flag on it instead?

  2. The article states that Stevens was told to put her bag under the front seat (this is a safety violation and federal law) and she backtalked a crewmember over it.

    Remember people – the flight crew is legally responsible for enforcing safety regulations and passengers who refuse to comply will get tossed off the plane and maybe even charged with a felony. It doesn’t matter how mad you are over something unrelated to this. If you argue with a crew member over a safety issue for whatever reason at all, you will probably not be flying that day.

  3. I wonder if they were overbooked and this was a convenient excuse to get her off of the plane without offering a free flight

  4. I’ve flown a lot. The hat was probably not the issue. Being rude with a stewardess is a great way to get kicked off a plane.

  5. For everyone saying that Stevens was removed for sassing a flight attendant…that isn’t the reason she was given, according to her account. The reason she was given was her hat. In my experience when someone is being unruly that is usually the reason given for being removed, not a hat. Flight attendants do have authority to enforce rules for everyone’s safety – people cheered over this story.


    A Hot Topic snapback probably wasn’t going to hurt anyone. PROBABLY.

  6. I wonder where people get the idea it was her exchange with the attendant that got her removed…

    “Stevens then told me that the exchange with the flight attendant was given as the reason that she was ejected from the flight.”

    It’s a mystery….

  7. Someone’s needs to brush up on their anti-oppression training,
    To many older white people who are still alive today, the phrase “Black Panther” conjures up memories not of Marvel’s African American superhero, but the militant African American group.
    Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover called the party “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country”,
    To those with a long memory, the words “BLACK PANTHER” on a baseball cap could certainly have been triggered.

    The baseball cap in question is here:

    Also, a person who presents themselves as a male but has a female name and wants to be referred to as a female must have raised some security concerns.

    Outside ofbourgeoisie enclaves, people do not have the freedom to do whatever they want without social consequences. Social norms and conformity lead to situations like this when people can feel threatened by those they see as different.

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