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Video emerges of pregame shenanigans in which the Panthers might have threatened Beckham.
Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., one of the best young players in the NFL who has a habit of making some of the most fantastic catches we’ve ever seen, was suspended for this week’s game because of multiple violations of player safety rules during Sunday’s loss to the Panthers.
For instance, these:
But the Giants are appealing the suspension, saying Beckham was threatened in pregame warmups with one Panthers player pointing a baseball bat at him and also alleging that Beckham was the target of homophobic slurs at the same time. There’s no doubt that a baseball bat was on the field, but the Carolina organization denied that there were homophobic taunts thrown Beckham’s way.
In the past day, some videos have emerged from the pregame warmup period. This one shows Carolina practice-squad player Marcus Ball who’s walking in the Giants stretching area and appears to have a meeting with Beckham, who wears No. 13 and yanks off his helmet.
You can see Ball in this video pointing the bat at the Giants.
A video posted by New York Giants (@nygiants) on
Ball, then, apparently handed the bat to Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, the man tasked with covering Beckham during the game and the player who got blasted by Beckham in a helmet-to-helmet clash.
A video posted by Jay Glazer (@jayglazer) on
So, why were there bats on the field in the first place? The Panthers apparently use them as motivational symbols. But the Giants had a different take on Carolina’s motivation.
I’m told there were comments made in direction of Odell Beckham Jr. + other players about how Panthers coming to “beat the s**t out of him.”
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) December 21, 2015
Deion Sanders says that Norman called Odell a “fa**ot”, carried around a baseball bat pregame and told him he was “gonna end his career”.
— astromarko (@astromarko) December 21, 2015
Either way Beckham, unless the the suspension is overturned, won’t be around to participate in this weekend’s game vs. the Vikings, a contest that could have major playoff implications for the Giants. And while Norman has had a breakout season this year and is being touted as perhaps the best cornerback in the league, the NFL wants to make sure he’s not handling any bats in the pregame warmup period.
In a memo to teams this afternoon, NFL reminded them “foreign objects” are not permitted on the sideline. Advised to leave in locker room.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 22, 2015
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.