An MLB Player's Viral Tweet Just Sparked a Flight Etiquette Debate

The internet is disagreeing over who should be responsible for their own kids' messes.

united economy seats
Photo courtesy of United Airlines
Photo courtesy of United Airlines

Kids will always be kids, and as such, they will oftentimes (and very casually) make a proper mess. They don't care—or rather, aren't even aware—what social norms they should apply where, and if they decide to spill an entire glass of milk on the floor of a Michelin-starred restaurant, they will surely do it without a hint of remorse. They might even have a giggle, too. That's because they're kids, and they aren't really responsible for their own mess. Who is, then?

A tweet by Anthony Bass, a Toronto Blue Jays pitcher, recently went viral for sparking such debate—except this time, rather than a fancy restaurant, the location of choice was a United Airlines aircraft.

"The flight attendant @united just made my 22 week pregnant wife traveling with a 5 year old and 2 year old get on her hands and knees to pick up the popcorn mess by my youngest daughter," tweeted the famous MLB player on Sunday, adding a photo of his daughter surrounded by popcorn all over the plane's seat and floor. "Are you kidding me?!?!"

Responses quickly started flooding in—most of them disagreeing with Bass and his take on the flight etiquette matter. Some users took the diplomacy road, and politely inquired about Bass's stance.

"Genuinely curious who should clean up the mess your 2 year old made?" asked one of them. "As a parent of three kids I am the one responsible for them." Bass took a chance to respond. "The cleaning crew they hire!"

Multiple Twitter users called out Bass's take, arguing that parents are responsible for their children rather than crew and waiting staff. "'My wife had to be a parent!' That's you right now," tweeted one user.

Other people chose to look at the issue from a different perspective, wondering why Bass himself didn't clean up after his kid. "Did you not feel like you could step in and pick it up on your [wife's] behalf?" noted one tweet. "Men can also clean, not sure if you are aware? That would have been more productive than taking pictures and tweeting."

Yesterday, the day after his infamous tweet, Bass took it to Twitter to update his readers and fans. "Thank you everyone for the support," he said. "United Airlines is taking care of matters with the flight attendant internally." Soon after, he posted a photo of his child holding a bag of popcorn, her smile radiant. No caption was added, except a popcorn bag emoji.

To no one's surprise, the followup tweet wasn't well received by the majority. "You literally tried to have someone fired from their career over popcorn," commented one user. "Leave your kids out of this."

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.