Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Panther Reportedly Made Threats before Game

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Panther Reportedly Made Threats before Game

Article excerpt

The NFL has suspended Giants star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for one game without pay following his actions in Sunday's 38-35 loss to Carolina.

He will appeal Monday's decision from the league, which ruled Beckham committed "multiple violations of safety-related playing rules."

If upheld, the suspension will cause Beckham to miss the Giants' next game Sunday night in Minneapolis against the Vikings and cost him a game check of $52,529.

The Giants (6-8) need to win their last two games and must have Washington (7-7) lose its last two in order to win the NFC East.

Beckham, 23, was called for three personal fouls, including a play in which he dived in the direction of Panthers cornerback Josh Norman after the whistle and made helmet-to-helmet contact. Beckham and Norman engaged in an emotional battle all game long, with the latter also picking up two personal fouls.

NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks ruled that Beckham's actions placed his opponents at unnecessary risk of injury and should have been avoided.

In a letter to Beckham, Hanks wrote, "At numerous times during yesterday's game against the Carolina Panthers, your actions placed a fellow player at unnecessary risk ... and clearly did not represent the high standards of sportsmanship expected."

Beckham will not be permitted this week to attend team meetings and functions; attend or watch practices; appear at the club's facilities for any reason; attend press conferences; appear at the team's game in Minneapolis or have contact with any club personnel except to arrange off-site medical treatment or rehabilitation.

Beckham's appeal will be heard by either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, who are jointly appointed and paid by the NFL and NFLPA. It's likely Beckham's hearing will be held today with a decision possible as early as Wednesday morning.

The conduct of other players in the Panthers-Giants game is being reviewed for potential discipline in the form of fines.

There was a lot of speculation after Sunday's game as to what may have set Beckham off and caused him to act the way he did. A source told The Record that, on the field before the game, Norman had a baseball bat during warmups and was swinging it while walking on the sideline. The perception was that he was sending a message to Beckham.

Another source indicated there also were comments made in the direction of Beckham and other players about how the Panthers were coming to "beat the [expletive] out of him."

The Giants reviewed video of pregame incidents involving Panthers players and Beckham, and the belief is that he was threatened physically and taunted with homophobic slurs, a source confirmed.

"That doesn't excuse Odell's actions," a team source said.

As the Giants awaited news of his punishment Monday, coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning expressed support for Beckham. …

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