Adam Jenne was kicked off a United Airlines flight in Florida Wednesday morning because he was wearing a red thong as a mask. The Florida man said he was kicked off the flight because he wasn’t wearing a proper mask, and that this is not the first or last time he’ll be conducting his strange mask protest.
Jenne said that his thong mask was within TSA guidelines, and he finds the rule that passengers must wear masks until the plane enters cruising altitude to be ridiculous.
He said, “‘There’s nothing more absurd than having to wear a mask until I get to cruising altitude so that I can order Tito’s by the double and snack on pretzels and illustrating that absurdity by wearing women’s underwear on my face sounds perfect.”
There is currently a mask mandate by the TSA that requires passengers to wear masks on all trains, planes, buses and other forms of public transportation. Masks must also be worn in waiting areas. The TSA has allowed airlines to make their own mask requirements.
The strange encounter between Adam Jenne and the United Airlines flight crew was recorded by another passenger on the flight. The confrontation took place at the Fort Lauderdale airport. According to the video, a member of the flight crew came up to Jenne and told him that he couldn’t stay on the flight because of his “mask.”
Jenne said that he was removed from the flight and then forced to stay at the gate for 45 minutes while he talked with members of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, TSA, and airport security.
The Florida man later received a letter from United Airlines saying he was banned from all other flights with the airline until they completed their investigation of the incident.
United Airlines released a statement after the bizarre thong protest and said, “The customer clearly wasn’t in compliance with the federal mask mandate and we appreciate that our team addressed the issue on the ground prior to takeoff, avoiding any potential disruptions in the air.”
After Jenne was kicked off the flight, the video showed other passengers getting up and leaving the plane before it took off. They can be heard saying, “Did he just get kicked off for wearing a mask?”
The Cape Coral man thanked the passengers who disembarked the plane after him. He is grateful for their support of his bizarre protest. He said, “Thank you to them, because they saw something, an injustice, something that didn’t make sense, and they stood up,” Jenne told Fox4.
According to Adam Jenne, the United Airlines flight was not the first time he wore a thong as a mask. He said that he’s worn the thong on other flights and have been met with mixed reactions from different flight crews. “Every single flight has been met with different reactions from the flight crew. Some with a wild appreciation, others confrontational,” Jenne said.
Jenne’s claims have not been verified by the other airlines. According to him, he was kicked off a Delta Airlines flight for wearing a thong as a mask. Other flights have allowed him to fly.
The 38-year-old said he will continue to wear the thong on other flights to protest the mask mandate. In an interview with NBC’s WBBH, the Florida man compared his protest to the actions of civil rights protester Rosa Parks.
He said, “Everything else that has sparked change in this country has started from everyday people. Rosa Parks wasn’t famous. She changed the course of history.”
Jenne’s Rosa Parks statement was criticized by Trevor Noah during an episode of The Daily Show. The late-night talk show host slammed the Florida man for comparing himself to Rosa Parks.
“Rosa Parks? My man, don’t be so modest!” Noah began. “You’re more than Rosa Parks! If anything, you’re the Martin Luther King of white dudes comparing themselves to Black heroes for no reason. You know, for real, sometimes I think conservatives are right: America shouldn’t be teaching the history of racism in schools, because then at least white people wouldn’t know who to compare themselves to when they get kicked off of airplanes for doing dumb shit.”
The investigation into Adam Jenne’s thong protest continues, and it is unclear if the Florida man has tried to get onto another flight with his homemade mask.