Jets WR Holmes blames flight attendant for April iPod incident

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes believes a flight attendant singled him out last month because he was a former Pittsburgh Steelers player.

"I just felt I was being scrutinized just for who I am," Holmes said Thursday in his first public comments about the incident.

Authorities at Pittsburgh International Airport filed a report after an unidentified flight attendant claimed Holmes failed to follow regulations by not turning off his iPod as the plane was landing. Police questioned Holmes at the gate, but he wasn't arrested or charged.

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The Jets acquired Holmes from the Steelers in April for a fifth-round pick in this year's draft. He was on a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to Pittsburgh and believes the flight attendant targeted him because of his Steelers ties.

"I honestly think it was," Holmes said. "Flying back to Pittsburgh for the first time since being here in New Jersey. She definitely just tried to make a name for herself because she actually was the one who went to the media and reported it. Nobody else did."

Holmes said the attendant wasn't working in the back of the Colgan Air Flight on April 29 until the flight was landing around 9 p.m. Holmes said she came up to him, woke him up and told him to shut off his iPod.

"I turned it off," Holmes said. "As she walked away, she said she still heard music. And I took my iPod out, I put it in the lady's ear sitting next to me and asked her, 'Ma'am, do you hear any music?' And she addressed me, 'No, sir.' I put my headphones back on and went back to sleep. I get off the airplane, and the police are standing outside waiting for me. So that was that issue."

After speaking with the police, Holmes was able to leave without incident.

"He was asked to remove his iPod (at one point), in which he complied," the Allegheny County police said in a statement.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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