Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith exited a Virgin America plane at Los Angeles International Airport Friday afternoon after an alleged altercation with a male flight attendant.
Smith, who was bound for Fort Lauderdale, reportedly was asked to remove his headphones by the attendant but didn’t immediately respond because he didn’t hear the request.
The flight attendant reportedly unplugged Smith’s headphones and “threw them down,” telling the quarterback he was a “threat” and asking him to leave the plane.
An unnamed airport official told the New York Post that Smith refused to stop talking on his cell phone before takeoff, prompting the captain to order him off the plane.
Virgin America refused to rebook him. Smith was later questioned by airport police at the airport’s gate.
According to Sgt. Belinda Nettles, the airport’s public information officer, Smith wasn’t removed from the plane by police, didn’t have to be escorted out of the terminal, wasn’t arrested, and wasn’t a subject of a police incident report.
It didn’t take long for the altercation to hit the Internet. Within minutes, there were photos on Twitter of Smith speaking to police officers at the gate and a video of him walking out of the terminal.
“We are aware of the [Internet] report and are researching the facts,” a Jets team spokesman said. “We will have no comment at this time.”