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Airlines

American Apologizes to Two-Time Cancer Survivor Over “F*** Cancer” Hoodie

American Apologizes to Two-Time Cancer Survivor Over “F*** Cancer” Hoodie
Joe Cortez

American Airlines is now apologizing to a cancer survivor after she said the airline forced her to cover her hoodie over a foul word. Roslyn Singleton was flying aboard the carrier from Los Angeles to Charlotte wearing the sweatshirt emblazoned with the words “F*** Cancer” – which goes against the airline’s policy on “offensive statements and inappropriate language.”

After calling out the airline on Instagram and retaining a lawyer, a flyer is getting an apology from American Airlines over their request to cover her hoodie with choice language on it. The Charlotte Observer reports the airline has issued an apology to passenger Roslyn Singleton, who flew aboard the airline wearing a sweatshirt reading: “F*** Cancer.”

Flyer Calls Episode “Disrespectful and Embarrassing,” While American Points to Policy

According to Singleton’s take published to Instagram, she was flying with American from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), with a stop over at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). She claims that when boarding in L.A., an American gate agent asked her to cover up her sweatshirt, or she would not be allowed on the plane.

The airline took offense to the use of the four-letter F-obscenity on the front of her hoodie. In a statement to the Observer, the airline said their policies “prohibit clothing that displays offensive statements and inappropriate language from being worn on board.” In the airline’s conditions of carriage, American requires passengers to: “Dress appropriately; bare feet or offensive clothing aren’t allowed.”

However, Singleton claims that she was singled out for having “strong feelings on cancer.” A statement from her attorney, James L. Walker, Jr., claims her sentiment is one that “millions have said before and there is nothing illegal about said statement…Even harassing her after she removed the hoodie was a violation of her constitutional rights.”

A spokesperson for the airline told the Observer the American team “Reached out to learn more about Ms. Singleton’s experience, offer our apologies and reaffirm our support for efforts to fight cancer.”

Flyers Behaving Questionably Continue to Draw Attention

Although this incident did not disrupt a flight, it is the latest involving flyers making accusations against carriers. In April 2021, a family accused Spirit of singling them out over face mask rules, while the airline says the group was non-compliant.

View Comments (17)

17 Comments

  1. eric_o

    April 8, 2021 at 2:17 am

    Somebody looking for a quick paycheck. I don’t care what you survived, wearing clothing with an F bomb on it is NEVER appropriate. Anywhere. Anytime.

  2. MRM

    April 8, 2021 at 4:48 am

    The people that wear clothing like this – whether with asterisks or in full written word (fake vulgar/vulgar) – are about THEMSELVES and THEMSELVES alone. They INVITE the conflict and demand that everyone look at them – and then when they’re confronted they belly ache about it play the victim card. People like this are idiots and deserve the scorn/difficulties they receive for acting as such.

    And yes, I’ve had family members beat cancer too (as well as a couple that didn’t), and they didn’t walk around demanding the world look at them by wearing vulgar/fake vulgar shirts. instead, they and our family simply walk a little taller and enjoy each moment that we’ve gained by them beating it.

  3. strickerj

    April 8, 2021 at 5:46 am

    I tend to side with the airline on this one – it is in the CoC (which I presume the passenger didn’t read, because who does?). Whether the statement was about cancer or anything else is irrelevant; it’s the word that was the issue.

    And her lawyer’s assertion that the statement “wasn’t illegal” and constitutionally protected misses the point – she wasn’t harassed or detained by a government entity; she was just denied service by a private company. That’s a big difference.

    FWIW, I sided with the family on the Spirit mask issue because the age of the child wasn’t clear (under 2 are exempted), and the policy says the mask may be removed in order to eat (which the child was doing). That’s all that’s on the video – the assertion that the family was uncooperative or not wearing masks themselves is not.

  4. on-a-stick

    April 8, 2021 at 7:22 am

    “However, Singleton claims that she was singled out for having “strong feelings on cancer.””

    Definitely. American Airlines and its employees are all known for their radical pro-cancer stance.

  5. ryan754

    April 8, 2021 at 8:32 am

    Trying to make a big deal out of nothing. I agree with her stance. Totally of course I’d never be offended by her shirt. Nonetheless the airline has a policy. I don’t agree with the policy as I don’t get butthurt by words. It is their rule and should be followed. Just another person trying to get their 15 minutes. Even got a lawyer. 😂

  6. cmd320

    April 8, 2021 at 9:49 am

    She’s an idiot. She was singled out for having a blatantly offensive word on her article of clothing which goes against the CoC, not for having ‘strong feelings on cancer’. It doesn’t matter that it was generally a positive statement and one I would imagine most can agree on.

  7. Grog

    April 9, 2021 at 7:53 am

    So was it the f-word or was it an F with three asterisks? If only asterisks, then I’d be only slightly more understanding. My parents both had cancer. I feel strongly against it. I also feel strongly against having the n-word, the f-word, the c-word, the p-word, and lots of other obscenities shoved in my face when in a place that doesn’t belong to the person doing the shoving.

  8. vargha

    April 9, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Not a fan of AA, but come on. If an exception is made for one item of clothing, then AA’s employees are put in the position of having to play judge and jury over every piece of clothing with curse words. And one can easily imagine the lawsuits that would flow out of that. Her maintaining that she was picked on because of the cancer message makes it obvious that she was the one at fault.

  9. Surfcaster

    April 9, 2021 at 10:21 am

    She knowingly was wearing an offensive shirt that violated the CoC. Doesn’t matter if it was about cancer. Having her cover it up to fly was very reasonable requirement. Wonder how much she sucked out of the airline for this.

  10. James Zeller

    April 9, 2021 at 10:26 am

    I’m on the same page with the preceding commentators. AA doesn’t necessarily have its policy to protect the eyes and feelings of grown adults, but there are plenty of adults who rightfully ARE offended by foul language, for themselves and especially for their kids. Most cancer survivors don’t don bright yellow sweatshirts to tell the world their feelings, and I really don’t think AA should have apologized, unless the gate agents were less than diplomatic in their treatment of the individual. Even then, there is no reason to apologize for the policy itself.

  11. AggieTexan

    April 9, 2021 at 10:48 am

    I side with the airline on this one. Regardless of the woman’s reasons for wearing the t-shirt, it contained a word that is offensive to many customers and AA was right for telling the passenger to cover it.

    I place all the blame on the passenger. She has to have known the shirt would cause a stir. I question her judgment in wearing the shirt in public, and wonder if this is exactly the outcome she hoped for.

  12. MRM

    April 9, 2021 at 11:23 am

    “Definitely. American Airlines and its employees are all known for their radical pro-cancer stance.”

    LOLOLOLOL!

  13. MRM

    April 9, 2021 at 11:26 am

    “Definitely. American Airlines and its employees are all known for their radical pro-cancer stance.”

    It’s also my understanding that American is lobbying legislators in Illinois to adopt bi-partisan, pro-cancer legislation that’s going to force cancer treatment centers to grow/implant cancer cells instead of kill them. Hospitals, research laboratories and other anti-cancer organizations have threatened to move to less-cancer-friendly states if it is passed.

    (Bad Humor Friday!)

  14. dts6b

    April 9, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    About 20 years ago, I boarded a flight from DC to ORD with a friend. We were both wearing new T-shirts that we had bought at the protest we attended in DC. There were no obscene words on the shirt, but the flight attendants were clearly a bit worried about the controversy our shirts could start. There were no problems on that flight. Now, I wear clothing/buttons when I travel that still get my message across, but in a less controversial manner than that particular shirt. The “in your face” clothes with 4 letter words certainly have their time and place, but not on an airplane. This has nothing to do with “Free Speech”. Airlines can make their own rules about passenger conduct – including passenger clothing – if they feel it is relevant to their operations.

  15. alangore

    alangore

    April 9, 2021 at 9:27 pm

    As a fellow survivor, I would say: why gratuitously antagonize the other passengers? That T-shirt would be appropriate at the beach or at a concert, but wearing it on a plane is like clipping your toenails in front of everybody else.

  16. Annawywy

    April 10, 2021 at 7:48 am

    Simply writing “I’ve beat cancer twice” on the bright hoodie would have put everyone on your side..
    And giving you all the attention you were looking for…

  17. sweetsleep

    April 12, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    I agree with the totally inappropriate F bomb shirt and sadly I encounter this on shirts and bracelets as a healthcare professional- in the hospital!. it is offensive even in a hospital setting and so much more so out in the public domain.

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