WNBA star Layshia Clarendon tweeted about an instance of "ingrained racism" they experienced on their way home from the WNBA bubble in Florida.
Clarendon said a flight attendant made comments that suggested she was surprised Clarendon would be seated so close to the front of the plane.
After a long 10 weeks isolated in the WNBA's bubble in Bradenton, Florida, New York Liberty point guard Layshia Clarendon headed home on Monday.
But instead of being able to relax on the flight, Clarendon said they immediately faced "ingrained racism" from a flight attendant.
The attendant, Clarendon wrote on Twitter, was surprised that they would be seated so close to the front of the plane.
The 10-year WNBA veteran wrote that their ticket was for seat 2B. But when they walked on and went to place their luggage in the vacant compartment above, Clarendon said, the flight attendant told them to bring the bags to the back of the plane.
"We're waiting for this person to come to their seat," the attendant said, according to Clarendon.
"That's me," Clarendon said, adding that the stewardess replied with surprise: "oooooohhh, THAT is YOU."
—Layshia Clarendon (@Layshiac) September 14, 2020
Clarendon didn't say which airline they were flying.
Many Black professional athletes have recently been vocal in describing microaggressions and instances of racism they experience. Last month, retired NFL Pro-Bowler Brandon Marshall posted a video of security guards in his neighborhood calling the police when he tried to enter the gated community where his new home was located.
Other athletes have recalled instances fans in arenas and stadiums heckling them with racist slurs. Brazilian soccer star Neymar recently said an opponent called him a "monkey" during a game.
Clarendon has been working with the WNBA to be what the league describes as "a driving force of necessary and continuing conversations about race." They are an inaugural and leading member of the WNBA/WNBPA Social Justice Council and have so far helped facilitate round-table discussions, community conversations, and more to address racism and implicit bias within and outside of the WNBA.
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