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A viral video recorded by a former NFL star during an airplane flight showed an attempt at exerting white privilege backfiring in spectacular fashion under the false guise of health concerns.

Desmond Howard, a football legend who’s since become a popular national sportscaster, recently shared footage he filmed while flying on an American Airlines flight from which he says a fellow passenger tried to have him removed. Why? Because the passenger thought he was “sick,” Howard explained on the selfie video.

The passenger summoned a flight attendant to ask for Howard’s removal, he continued.

That’s when Howard said he asked the passenger, perhaps sarcastically: “I’m sorry. Are you a doctor?”

Howard, who is shown wearing a lowered mask while he’s filming the video, said the man accused him of “coughing all over the place” before the plane took off.

Howard said he refused and explained to the camera that he was simply “clearing my throat.”

Up until that moment, that passenger’s concerns were seemingly valid, what with the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic heightening such concerns. It’s doubtful that many people reading this would like to fly alongside someone who was allegedly “coughing all over the place.”

But then the passenger took it there, Howard said.

Addressing the flight attendant, the passenger suggested his status as a passenger was far superior, Howard said, raising an eyebrow.

“He said, ‘I’m sure if you check our status, my status is higher than his,'” Howard said about the passenger.

Howard then pans the camera over to show the passenger, a white man.

It was a challenge that Howard, whose net worth is estimated to be about $14 million, said he happily accepted.

“And as you see,” Howard said triumphantly with a widening smile, “I’m still sitting on this plane.”

He shook his head and added incredulously: “The caucasity of him.”

Watch the video below.

Howard was able to laugh about the type of experience that can quickly go in the opposite direction when it comes to those types of Karen-adjacent situations where people try to weaponize their whiteness in an effort to disingenuously suggest their superiority.

It’s a strategy that has proven to be successful for centuries and has revealed itself in many different iterations.

Whether what Howard said happened to him had anything to do with race is anyone’s guess.

But if history is any indication — and it usually is — Howard’s skin color likely emboldened his fellow passenger to suggest he was somehow better than Howard based on the premise of health.

This is America.


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