But when Burrell and Teague sat down in their seats, they were accused of stealing the blankets by a flight attendant, who is also Black, as reported by The Daily Mail.
The two, who play for the Memphis Grizzlies' Memphis Hustle in the NBA's minor-league G League, had boarded Flight 3756, operated by the airline's regional Envoy Air and bound for Sioux Falls, S.D., when the incident occurred at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, according to the Undefeated.
Trashon Burrell and Marquis Teague of the Memphis Hustle, the Memphis Grizzlies' affiliate in the minor-league National Basketball Association G League, were on Flight 3756 from DFW to Sioux Falls, S.D., The Undefeated reported.
According to The Undefeated, two first-class passengers gave Teague and Burrell, who are both Black, their blankets as a kind gesture.
"We take pride in bringing people together, and we know that on this flight we let some of our customers down", Freed said. The flight was operated by Envoy Air.More news: Tesla's Musk promises pickup truck despite persistent production problems
Glynn Cyprien, the team's head coach, "American Airlines needs sensitivity training [for] attendants on flights dealing with humans and blankets", Cyprien tweeted. Burrell scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the contest, while Teague added 11 points of his own in the 131-115 Hustle win.
Freed declined to say whether race was a factor, explaining that airline officials are still reviewing the matter. His first comments is 'did you steal them.' How about you teach people the facts first before jumping to conclusions.
American Airlines chairman and chief executive officer Doug Parker told airline employees in November that the company would be implementing implicit-bias training starting in the new year in response to several incidents involving black passengers in 2017.
The younger brother of Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Jeff Teague, Marquis was a first-round pick of the Chicago Bulls in 2012 before being traded to the Brookyn Nets in 2014.
The Memphis Hustle is in the G League, which is the NBA's minor league and was formerly known as the NBA Development League. Burrell played two seasons at the University of Memphis.