The United Airlines worker caught on video fighting with a passenger at Newark International Airport has been fired.
PIX 11 New York reported Tuesday that the employee, who had been involved in the brawl with former NFL player and current CFL wide receiver Brendan Langley, had been fired. The employee was reportedly a member of United Ground Express, the ground handling subsidiary of the airline. The video of the fight went viral on Monday.
“United Airlines does not tolerate violence of any kind at our airports or onboard our planes and we are working with local authorities in their investigation of this matter,” a spokesperson for United Airlines said in a statement Tuesday, via PIX 11. “United Ground Express informed us that the employee has been terminated.”
Langley was also suspended by the Calgary Stampeders Tuesday. “The Stampeders take matters such as these very seriously,” said Stampeders President and General Manager John Hufnagel. “After learning details of the incident including the filing of a criminal charge, we are indefinitely suspending Brendan Langley.” The statement added that while on suspension, Langley is not permitted to enter the team facility or have any involvement with the team. He was signed to the team in February with expectations to try out during training camp.
Langley defended himself on Twitter Monday evening, blasting TMZ, which first reported the story, for spinning a narrative about the altercation without all the facts. “[It’s] crazy how u can get assaulted by an actual airline employee and defend urself, but media will run the narrative that they want to… this is the problem in our society today smh [don’t] believe everything u read!” Langley wrote. “@TMZ tbh this is s***** of yall. [Taking] another mans pain as a joke.”
Langley also blamed other United employees for not intervening to de-escalate the situation. “[You] can clearly see soooo many @united employees watching everything unfold while [I’m] basically begging for help. craziest part not one of them helped De-escalate the situation! it was like they wanted it to happen. like i had a target on my back.”
“[Every] angle shows me walking away from buddy, i had a whole ass flight that morning i did not want any smoke! he followed me all the way down to the kiosk just to cause me bodily harm. [I’m] honestly still shocked,” Langley added.
The fight broke out on May 19. In the video, both Langley and the United worker appear to square up against one another. Then, unexpectedly, the United worker slaps Langley across the face and shoves him. A woman in the background urges the two to stop fighting. “You saw that s***?” Langley shouts at a witness before punching the United worker in the face. The worker stumbles back into a luggage gate as Langley punches him again, causing him to tumble over the gate and onto a conveyor belt. The employee, visibly bloodied and with a large wound around his eye, gets up and approaches Langley again. Langley backs off and the two exchange words. “He works at the airport and he assaulted me,” Langley tells another employee who approaches the two. Witnesses told TMZ that the altercation stemmed from the fact that Langley used a wheelchair to tote his luggage instead of a luggage cart.