NFL player accuses TSA of spilling his mother's ashes inside his suitcase after checking his luggage

Business InsiderAn NFL player is accusing the TSA of dumping his mother’s ashes inside his suitcase during a routine bag check.
  • NFL player, A.J. Francis, took to Twitter on Monday and Tuesday to lambaste the TSA for allegedly spilling his mother’s ashes out of a sealed urn.
  • The TSA posted an apology and its explanation on its Twitter account, AskTSA.
  • Francis had been travelling with the urn to celebrate the life of his mother’s, who passed away on June 26, 2018.

An NFL player took to Twitter on Monday to slam the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for dumping his mother’s ashes over the inside of his suitcase and only leaving a note in return.

On Monday morning, New York Giants defensive lineman, A.J. Francis, posted an expletive-laden tweet in which he accused TSA agents of opening a sealed urn containing his recently deceased mother’s ashes, and pouring the contents all over his clothes after searching his bag. Francis had been travelling to Arkansas and California for a week to celebrate the life of his mother, Carrie Leane Francis, who passed away on June 26, 2018, according to Francis’ Instagram account.

In a tweet, Francis posted a photo of his suitcase covered in what appears to be ashes, and wrote:

“Hey you pieces of s**** at @TSA next time you a******* feel the need to go thru my mother’s ashes for no reason, make sure you close it back so her remains aren’t spilled on all my clothes… the least you pieces of garbage can do is your f****** job.”

On the TSA’s official website, the organisation lays out clear guidelines on how traveller’s cremated remains are to be handled by trained security officers:

“We understand how painful losing a loved one is and we treat crematory remains with respect. Some airlines do not allow cremated remains in checked bags, so please check with your airline to learn more about possible restrictions.

To facilitate screening, we suggest that you purchase a temporary or permanent crematory container made of a lighter weight material, such as wood or plastic. If the container is made of a material that generates an opaque image, TSA officers will not be able to clearly determine what is inside the container and the container will not be allowed. Out of respect for the deceased, TSA officers will not open a container, even if requested by the passenger.”

Early on Monday morning, AskTSA, the Twitter response team for the TSA, wrote an initial explanation and apology in response to Francis’ social media post:

Francis immediately took to Twitter to write back, “Under all circumstances f*** yourself.”

Francis, whose post garnered significant media attention, then wrote on Twitter that he is not looking to take any questions from media outlets, and offered up his own thoughts at why the TSA’s actions upset him so much.

“The craziest part of this @TSA s*** is that I dont even care that they checked it… they were just being cautious, & I can understand that. But to not ensure that it won’t spill back into my bag after you put it back in is the most asinine & irresponsible s*** I have ever seen.”

Francis did not respond to Business Insider for a comment.

Later in the day, once the news of Francis’ complaint became more widely known, AskTSA posted an additional response seeking to rectify the situation:

The following afternoon, July 10th, Francis posted his own response to the TSA’s apologies on Twitter, apparently seeking to move on from the entire event:

By Wednesday morning, the TSA had written on their official website a long post addressing the situation and offered an explanation as to what happened:

“We immediately looked into the matter, and upon video review, we learned that the checked bag alarmed for an unidentified object. Upon opening the bag for inspection, a TSA officer discovered that the object was an opened, unmarked ceramic container that was loosely wrapped in aluminium foil. Due to the lack of markings, the officer did not know that the contents were cremains. The container was carefully repacked and the bag was cleared to continue to its destination.”

Francis entered the NFL as an undrafted free-agent out of the University of Maryland in 2013. He has played regular season games for the Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, and Washington Redskins. He signed with the New York Giants on May 2nd, 2018.

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