Ex-NFL player Brendan Langley is sharing his side of the infamous airport brawl ... his attorney tells TMZ Sports the United employee harassed him, called him names, and got physical first -- leaving his client no choice but to defend himself.
We've obtained a statement from Alan Jackson, Brendan's attorney, who says the former Denver Broncos CB is the real victim.
"Brendan Langley was minding his business walking through the airport with his bags when he was accosted by a United Airlines employee who claimed to 'run the airport,'" Jackson says.
"When Brendan tried to ignore him, the assailant followed and harassed Brendan, calling him a 'd***' and a 'p***y' and challenging him to fight."
Jackson says 27-year-old Langley yelled out for help, but no one intervened. He also says the viral footage only tells part of the story -- and claims CCTV backs up his side of the altercation.
"Footage from the airport security cameras establishes without question that Brendan was in reasonable fear of physical harm, and reasonably and lawfully defended himself. We do not expect charges to be filed against Brendan."