Former Navy Seal who killed Osama bin Laden is banned from Delta Air Lines after not wearing mask

'I'm not a p***y', Robert O'Neill wrote in since-deleted tweet showing him not wearing a mask on flight

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Sunday 23 August 2020 16:01 BST
Robert O'Neill tweeted a picture (shown) of himself not wearing a mask on a Delta Air Lines flight. This tweet was later deleted
Robert O'Neill tweeted a picture (shown) of himself not wearing a mask on a Delta Air Lines flight. This tweet was later deleted (Twitter)

The former Navy Seal who shot and killed Osama bin Laden has sparked controversy online after he bragged about not wearing a face mask on a recent flight – a claim that has banned him from Delta Air Lines.

Robert O’Neill, 44, a former US Navy SEAL Team Six member, tweeted an image of himself on a flight where he was seen smiling in his seat without a mask.

“I’m not a p***y,” he wrote in the since-deleted tweet.

The image sparked a backlash and was shared widely online. This encouraged Delta Air Lines, the airline Mr O’Neill was on, to ban him from future flights, a move that was first revealed by the man in a tweet.

“I just got banned from @Delta for posting a picture. Wow,” Mr O’Neill wrote.

A spokesperson for Delta Air Lines confirmed to The Independent that Mr O'Neill has been banned from the airline.

"Part of every customer's commitment prior to travelling on Delta is the requirement to acknowledge our updated travel policies, which includes wearing a mask. Failure to comply with our mask-wearing mandate can result in losing the ability to fly Delta in the future," the spokesperson said.

The now-deleted showed Mr O’Neill sitting next to a man wearing a USMC (United States Marine Corp) hat while wearing a mask, which made Twitter users think the former Navy Seal was insulting his neighbour by invoking the slur.

“Neither is the guy in the USMC hat,” one person replied, referring to Mr O’Neill’s comment, the New York Post reported. “And once again he’s serving his country by doing what he can to protect your right to be wrong.”

Another person wrote: “You’re endangering a veteran’s life. How patriotic.”

Mr O’Neill later addressed the criticism on Twitter by informing people that he was not calling the veteran near by on the plane any kind of names.

“This was not a dig at the Marine behind me. I love Marines...” he said.

Mr O’Neill went on to write a series of tweets about wearing a mask and why he was against it.

“Do you remember the complete, incompetent morons buying all of the toilet paper? They’re the ones telling you to wear masks now,” he wrote during the thread.

"China told you to wear a mask. Look down... you're wearing a mask. I'm not," another tweet read. "Make no mistake ... this 'pandemic' was sent to you by China."

“I know more about biological warfare than most of you. We were trained. These dumb a** masks do nothing. Nothing,” he added. “I’m not being rude... I’m just telling you facts.”

All of these tweets have since been deleted.

The mask debate has sparked a divide in America during the coronavirus pandemic.

Health experts have encouraged people to wear masks as it can prevent the spread of the coronavirus from those infected while protecting those who don’t have the novel virus.

But there have been some who believe that the recommendation is a “hoax” and it impedes their rights by forcing them to wear the face shield when out in public.

Later, after his post sparked a backlash, Mr O’Neill said he was “joking” and did wear a mask.

“I am not the bad guy, I killed the bad guy,” he said.

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