OAKLAND (CBS SF) — California Women’s head basketball Lindsay Gottlieb was confronted at the Denver airport by a Southwest Airlines employee who questioned her relationship to her infant bi-racial son before she could board a flight.

Gottlieb took to Twitter Sunday night to file a series of posts complaining about her treatment.

“I’m appalled that after approx 50 times flying with my 1-year-old son ticket counter personnel told me that I had to “prove” that he was my son despite having his passport,” she tweeted in one post. “She said we have a different last name. My guess is because he has a different skin color.”

Gottlieb gave birth to Jordan Peter Martin — whose father is African-American — on May 7, 2017. The little boy traveled often — flying Southwest at times — with the Cal basketball team this past season.

Cal women's basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb and her family. (CBS)

Cal women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb and her family. (CBS)

The Cal coach tweeted that after showing the ticket personnel Jordan’s passport — she asked to see a Facebook post to further verify her parentage.

“She 1st asked for proof with a birth certificate,” Gottlieb tweeted. “She then said it was a ‘federal law’ but asked me to prove I was the mother with a Facebook post. What?? The mother next to me said she’s never been asked for proof diff last name…not shockingly, not mixed face family.”

“I do feel like as a white female, with a position of privilege, and a platform where someone is going to listen, it is my responsibility to say, hey, this happened, this isn’t okay,” Gottlieb said in an interview with KPIX 5. “And maybe somewhere down the line, that helps my son, who is bi-racial and will be for his entire life.”

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In a statement to KPIX 5, Southwest apologized and said it was launching an investigation into the incident.

“We’re looking into this specific interaction, and we have engaged with the customer directly to address her concerns,” the statement read. “Our employees are well regarded for their hospitality and we always strive for the best experience for anyone who entrusts us with their travel.”

Gottlieb said she did not believe it reflected the attitude of the airline.

“I suspect it was just one insensitive employee,” she said. “It hurt my feelings. It made me feel a little bit less than and it’s not okay.”

Comments (168)
  1. Ched Wiggins says:

    So they did have different last names.

    1. asudad90 says:

      Ever notice. First thing a black man will do when he makes money… buy a white girl. At least Louis Farrakhan and I agree that the black birds should not mate with a Robin.

      It’s mostly the white girl with the black man, is it because black men find black woman ugly? I get it. like Oprah fat, ugly and a sperm receptacle not to be taken serious. What do black women think of this? Maybe I’m right and why over 70% of black babies are born out of wedlock.

      1. Quo Vadis.
        There’s too much horse manure in your cave man response to address.

      2. Eric Jones says:

        It does beg the question if Black Is Beautiful why then do so many Black guys with some money end up with the Whitest, blondest women they can find? Seems to me like White women in this case are a trophy and also are intended to show the World that they’ve “arrived.”

  2. The flight attendant was right to question this situation. This had all the outward signs of a child abduction. Had this not been the child’s mother, the caretaker would have had in her possession a custody order or a letter from the parents granting temporary custody for the trip. Southwest was right to ask the appropriate questions to ensure the safety of the child. I hope they continue to do so.

    1. Hope Rice says:

      “I do feel like as a white female, with a position of privilege”…This remark alone just turned me off…What does she mean, “a position of privilege”?

  3. It’s to prevent stolen children….different last names….duh! California people are too dumb to be roaming free across the Earth with the rest of us.

  4. lthacker28shackman28 says:

    Oh my, a loony liberal has had their snowflake feelings hurt! Stop the world!!

  5. suzcorner says:

    Since when are passports needed on domestic flights?

    1. It’s not that they “need” a passport, but they do need identification. A passport covers that requirement.

  6. On the surface it seems racially motivated, but when you find out the child and mother don’t share the same last name and the fact the child has a dark complexion, while the mother is completely white. It raised a concern, this could possibly be a child abduction.The Southwest employee was just looking out for your child lady. It has nothing to do with them not being sensitive, but you being oversensitive.

  7. Lynn Fulton says:

    If the kids last name is different, they should want proof. They are protecting the kid. Grow up woman.

    1. Dave Coxe says:

      My daughter has a different last name than me. I’ve never been questioned when flying with her. The passport should have been enough.

  8. Now that interracial is the fashionable /cool thing to do (fade like all trends with time) wonder when science will reveal the complications diseases/genetic foul ups of mixed race children, think sicle cell merging with a mostly white disease. Already some evidence of big increase in autism among mixed race kids

    1. Most American blacks are mixed race already.

      And you misspelled “sickle”, scientist.

  9. She should thank Southwest Airlines for trying to protect her child.

  10. I am appalled at being applaud……..IT IS APPALLING!

  11. mixed race couples and their mixed race children will always have trouble from both sides of the race spectrum — guilted-white just wants to hate on her race

  12. Thwarting child trafficking…what a SJW by referring to her position of privilege (in part granted to her by Title 9)

  13. Shame on Southwest Airlines for punishing an employee for doing the right thing and shame on the mother who cares about a racial issues more than the safety and welfare of children.

    1. “Shame on Southwest Airlines for punishing an employee”–no where in the article does it say that Southwest punished its employee.

      1. Knowing today’s workplace, what would you say the odds are?

        Starbucks just shut down their entire chain today for less.

  14. “As a white female in a position of privilege…” UGH.

    1. I caught that too. The idiot buys into the charade.

  15. Who writes this garbage? Does CBS even have a copy editor? I mean you guys are professionals right? You get paid for this?

    OAKLAND (CBS SF) — California Women’s head basketball Lindsay Gottlieb was confronted at the Denver airport by a Southwest Airlines employee who questioned her relationship to her infant bi-racial son before she could board a flight.

    1. Good catch. I think many of us just unconsciously inserted the missing word as we read.

  16. Verifiable Passport…..and still questioned? That is bull.

    Otherwise, the employee was following common sense on the matter to make sure a child isn’t being trafficked.

    The fact there was a passport to ID the child and it can be verified with TSA….She was wrong big time.

    Racial? I doubt it. The southwest employee just didn’t trust the situation.

    I prefer people to side with caution over children trafficking for sure…but how you do it is important to.

    This was handled terribly and now its been Racial Politicized. Totally bull no thanks to Main stream media and social network SJW aszwipes.

    You put yourself in the employee shoes knowing there is a emergency executive order out from Feds about human trafficking and especially children since Dec. 2017.

    1. Child last name not same as hers
    2. Child doesn’t look like mom at all

    You would question it to. I would.

    I wouldn’t have pushed it further with a legit passport in my face.

  17. Sean Conman says:

    The Pervs go around looking for someone to insult them, then they file a lawsuit with an attempt to get rich quick… Shame on society for attempting to make everyone except pervs and normal. Sad really sad..

  18. People say there is a RACE problem. People say this RACE problem will be solved when the third world pours into EVERY and ONLY into White countries.

    People say the only solution to the RACE problem is if ALL and ONLY White countries “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-Whites.

    But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocide against White people, Anti-Whites agree that I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.

  19. Southwest may have been “wrong” in posing these questions where the difference in skin color was probably the only indicator that something may not be on the up and up. But both spouses agreed to the mixed-race marriage. Both spouses decided to have children. They know the ways of the world. Not everybody is going to approve of their lifestyle and decisions they’ve made. So, don’t complain when not everybody treats you the same as others. You’re different. Woman, just suck it up. Imagine the conundrums your decisions have created for your son. As you stated yourself, he’ll be mixed-race his entire life.

  20. Probably out of concern for human trafficking

    American Airlines: http://fox2now.com/2018/02/15/airport-ticket-agent-sheriffs-deputy-stop-possible-human-trafficking/amp/

    Alaska Airlines:

    The person would have been hailed a hero has the child actually been kidnapped. But because someone was offended, they potential hero becomes the goat.

  21. Don Bags says:

    Came to the comment section expecting it to be totally devoid of common sense and so far have been pleasantly surprised. There is hope!
    Even though this could have been a racial thing…I highly, HIGHLY doubt that it is. Different color skin, different name…anyone with ANY clue would wonder if she were the mom, and anyone in some kind of governing authority (like determining who gets to board a plane) would HAVE to ask. It’s that simple. Just answer the question without getting your panties in a bunch and all is fine.

  22. Gottlieb = Jewess = looking for a payout

    1. But Gottlieb = German also.

      Besides, what self-respecting Jewish girl coaches collegiate basketball. And she doesn’t seem to want money out of this anyway.

      So relax.

  23. I’ve got an Asian last name and look mighty whitey. Often get the “second look” from TSA, from all kinds of different race officials. Get over it.

  24. That’s messed up. If I flew Southwest (I don’t) I would boycott them for awhile.

  25. I feel sorry for the child. Anti-miscegenation laws, which were in effect until the late 1960s, were and are required to keep low IQ White women from mating with blacks.

  26. hdnwordpress says:

    This whole story sounds a bit sketchy.

  27. My son is biracial with my same last name. (I am male and my son is one half Filipino. He was 1 and 1/2 years old at the time.) I was stopped by a Florida State Trooper and asked why I had this baby with me. I politely, but firmly, confronted him concerning his prejudice. To his credit, he immediately apologized.

  28. Don McCoy says:

    If the coach was offended by THIS, she must not hear the way people talk about women’s basketball!!

  29. No matter if you agree or not that the SW employee acted properly, the overwhelming racism in this comment thread is appalling.

  30. Airline workers are trained to look for things out of the ordinary or in the minority to prevent child abductions. A child is typically abducted by a “parent” who has differences than their “child”. It’s not profiling or judging….it’s just a common sense fact that exists in child abductions. She had a different last name, different hair color, maybe different eye color and yes, different skin color than her child. My guess is, she is a typical narcissist who thinks the additional line of questions were all about her, instead of understanding the additional questions were about keeping our children safe. Because of this media attention, there will now be tighter restrictions on questions and there WILL be more child abductions……but it’s good to know her feelings won’t be hurt again.

  31. In my day, it was a sign of pride and independence for a woman to retain her name. Our bi-racial child started flying to see proud grandparents at 3 months old. In hundreds of flights with all major airlines including SouthWest no one questioned our child’s parentage nor were personnel clueless as this recently hired Rosanne demonstrated at SouthWest. I will immediately re-book my next flights on Alaska. Racism should not extend to the skies.

  32. Bill Powers says:

    As long as they ask those questions of EVERY person who comes through with a child with a different last name… regardless of race… I have no problem with what SW did. It’s clear it’s to prevent child abductions.

  33. “I suspect it was just one insensitive employee,” she said. “It hurt my feelings. It made me feel a little bit less than and it’s not okay.”

    Aaawwww… Did you get yow feewings hurted? And to think, there are no “safe spaces” in airports; Oh the tragedy!

  34. Some of these… MANY of these comments are the worst most inappropriate comments I could ever image reading let alone believe they could come our of someone’s head top put in print.

    My daughter during her college basketball days had many female friends in the staff as well as “FEMALE” coaches with a child or children. HOW DISGUSTING these comments negativity bashing a woman coach for making the ridicules assumption she should not have a child. You do not have the common sense to be embarrassed of your ignorance and rudeness.

  35. Jason Blum says:

    They had DIFFERENT LAST NAMES on their passports! But no, I’m sure it was all because the kid had a different skin tone… /rolleyes
    Let’s not pass up an opportunity to make something all about race. /s

    I say kudos to SWA for taking a few extra minutes to verify that she was actually the infant’s mother. Given the fact that they have policies which require proof of this, and the fact that their names didn’t match, I’d say SWA deserves applause for doing their jobs.

  36. Tom Masters says:

    “I do feel like as a white female, with a position of privilege”

    MAKE IT FN STOP!!!!!!!

  37. My mother had a different last name than I did and she was white (Hispanic, but pasty white skin–“sunburned after 10 minutes in the sun”-type), and I have brown skin. She was NEVER questioned about being my mother!

  38. Pet monkeys go in the cargo hold.

  39. Andy Butler says:

    wait…….she said two different things, I am confused. They didnt say anything about the race, SHE DID. “My guess” is not acceptable. YOU ARE ASSUMING LADY> ASS U ME

  40. If the Southwest clerk had a concern they should have called for police instead playing Detective Joe Friday.

    1. Oh, right… and you think CALLING THE POLICE wouldn’t have created an even bigger uproar?? LOL! Wow.

      This SWA employee did the right thing… although I would take issue with the incorporation of “Facebook” into the process, as social media of any kind should have no place whatsoever in TSA screening at airports.

  41. Rob Huston says:

    This is a non-story…. one sided. Lindsey is making this a race issue without proof. I applaud Southwest for proving parenthood. The child has a different last name so it’s OK to ask for a birth certificate.

  42. Gottlieb – you idiot! Of course you jump to the conclusion that it has to be about race! It couldn’t be because your son has a different last name. I suspect if your son was abducted by someone and they tried to fly him out of the country/state – you would be glad that Southwest Airlines thinks it prudent to confirm the child actually belongs to the parent!!! Apparently you have no idea of the degree to which human trafficking and abductions occur in this country!! Get over yourself and stop thinking you are something special because you are a bi-racial couple!! That is extremely common these days – so you are definitely NOT special!

  43. Let’s see. The airlines clerk was curious because the baby has a different last name and a different racial features. Possible kidnapping or human trafficing. Nothing questionable? Obviously, the clerk was being racist and should be publicly vilified because of your liberal sensibilities.