Former champion boxer Amir Khan has slammed an airline as “disgusting and disrespectful” after he was kicked off a plane following a face mask complaint.
Khan says he was “escorted by police off the plane for no reason.”
He was planning to travel from New York to Colorado Springs to begin his training camp for his next fight.
But he said he was told his colleague’s mask was not pulled up high enough before both of them were removed from the flight.
Khan, who is expected to face rival Kell Brook in what would likely be his final fight, said: “I was taken off the plane today when I was going to training camp in Colorado Springs by police.
“A complaint was made by American Airlines staff, they said my colleague’s mask was not high enough and not up, that they had to stop the plane and take me and my friend off when I did nothing wrong.
“They kicked us both off. I was sat at 1A and he was sat in 1B. I find it disgusting and disrespectful, I was supposed to go to Colorado Springs for a training camp and now I’m back in New York for another day and I have to reschedule another plane to travel back to training camp.
“It’s really upsetting; there was no reason and I’m so disgusted that American Airlines would do this and ban me from travelling. There must be cameras that they can see to see if I or my colleague were bad in any way or caused. a scene in any way.
“I’ve never seen this happen before and I’m heartbroken.”
American Airlines said Khan and his friend refused to comply with several requests before being asked to leave the aircraft
A spokesperson said: “Prior to take-off, American Airlines Flight 700, with service from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), returned to the gate to deplane two customers who reportedly refused to comply with repeated crew member requests to stow luggage, place cell phones in airplane mode and adhere to federal face covering requirements.
“Our customer relations team is reaching out to Mr Khan to learn more about his experience and reinforce the importance of policies implemented for the safety of our customers and crew.”
Khan, 34, has not boxed for over two years and had contemplated retirement but looks set to settle his rivalry with Brook who, at 35, is also nearing the end of his career, the Mirror reported.
Earlier this year, Khan told Sky Sports: “It has been a fight that we’ve been talking about and it obviously didn’t happen because I was campaigning in America, fighting over there.
“When I came back to the UK, I had mandatories. I had to defend my titles.
“I think now is the right time to make that fight happen with Kell. We both have been world champions. We’re both British and in the north as well. Imagine making a huge fight like that happen at the Old Trafford football stadium. It would be a massive fight.
“Look, we’re ready to take it, and I think it will be good for boxing, especially to settle the score and put him in his place.”
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