An NFL player shocked everyone this week by claiming that he was sexually assaulted while flying on a United Airlines flight.

The New York Post reported that the player’s name has not been revealed to the public, with the only information about him that has come to light being that he is a football player from New Jersey. In the lawsuit he has filed claiming that the crew of the flight did not thing to stop the assault, he is identified only as John Doe 1.

The unnamed athlete claims that the incident occurred on February 10 just after takeoff on a red-eye flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to Los Angeles. He alleges that a woman who was also unnamed boarded the plane looking “disheveled and unbalanced” and that she took a window seat next to him in the economy plus section.

The professional football player, who was sitting in the middle seat, said that she soon began assaulting him by “massaging” his knees and thighs. A second man who was seated in the same row, who is suing as well and is named only as John Doe 2, complained to the crew immediately, but this did nothing to stop what the woman was doing.

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In the lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, both John Does are described as African Americans, with the NFL player living in Hazlet and the other man living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is not known at this time if the two of them knew each other before the flight.

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“Fearful of the perception of being a male victim and the racial stigma of being a young African American male, John Doe 1 patiently pleaded for the assailant to stop and removed her hand,” the lawsuit states, going on to say that despite his pleas, the assault only “intensified” with the woman “grabbing and groping his quads and then stroking her hand across his lap towards the inside of his leg near his genitals.”

Things soon escalated to the point where the woman grabbed the player’s penis and ripped off his face mask, which he was likely wearing to protect himself from COVID-19. When the NFL athlete finally got up to complain to crew members, the woman began sexually assaulting John Doe 2, grabbing his leg and “groin area.”

The woman was finally moved to a different seat after admitting that she had been drinking and had popped pills. Both John Does say that 25 minutes into the flight, they witnessed the woman ingesting prescription pills of some sort, which only made her grow more “intoxicated,” according to their complaint.

At the end of their flight, the two men were given $150 vouchers in an attempt to make amends for what happened, but they are now saying the entire thing could have been avoided if crew members had taken the proper action sooner.

United Airlines has yet to comment on the lawsuit.


This piece originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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