New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. “felt threatened” before Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers because of black baseball bats carried on to the field by Panthers officials and players, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Beckham was involved in numerous scuffles with Panthers cornerback Josh Norman on Sunday. In the third quarter, Beckham launched himself at Norman’s head, and has been suspended for one game by the NFL.
Before the game, a Panthers official carried a black baseball bat on to the field and motioned it toward Beckham while making comments, reports Schefter. Norman reportedly also grabbed the bat and swung it during the pregame.
Beckham felt threatened and was put in a “certain frame of mind,” according to the report. FOX Sports’s Jay Glazer posted video of Norman holding the bat. Glazer reports a Panthers player “in street clothes” threatened Beckham.
The Giants reportedly reviewed the pregame incidents that occurred between Panthers players and Beckham. Jason La Confora of CBS Sports reports that the Giants feel Beckham was threatened physically and called homophobic slurs by members of the Carolina team, in addition to feeling threatened by the bats.
Panthers cornerback Bene Benwikere responded to the reports on Twitter.
Come on now my boys carry the bat with them as it symbolizes my presence still being with them at the game and the NFL has a problem???— Bené Benwikere (@BigPlayBene) December 21, 2015
And on top of that I believe Odell is an awesome player met him a few times but during the game in between the lines there was no bat— Bené Benwikere (@BigPlayBene) December 21, 2015
Beckham has 91 catches for 1,396 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. The Panthers defeated the Giants 38-35 to improve to 14–0.
- Rohan Nadkarni