Odell Beckham Jr. will be forced to sit out one week after the NFL decided to suspend him for his actions against Josh Norman and the Carolina Panthers.
The decision comes a day after Odell Beckham – a usually cool, calm, and collected player, – lost his composure and allowed Norman and the Panthers' secondary to get the best of him. Even though Beckham wasn't the only one throwing shots, he threw the cheapest shot when he launched into Norman helmet first.
Beckham and Norman's beef was not something that started overnight. This feud has been brewing each week after both Norman, who has been a shutdown corner all season, and Beckham, who is considered as the best wide receiver in the NFL by some only in his second season, have been rising to the cream of the crop in the NFL. Both players are very confident and very skilled at their position.
Not to mention both players' respective teams are in the playoff conversation.
What triggered the feud to reach new heights was Odell's choice of cleats on Monday Night Football against the Dolphins – a week before the Giants faced the Panthers. ODB wore Joker-inspired cleats that seemed to be a shot at the self-proclaimed Batman, Josh Norman. Of course fans on twitter would react to Odell's cleats which found it's way back to Norman.
Norman, who has become a very vocal player, is not afraid to call out his opposition, whether it's on social media or in front of the media. After the Panthers defeated the Cowboys – Norman holding Dez Bryant to only 6 yards on 48 snaps – he said that the Pro-Bowl receiver should give the Cowboys back the $70 million he received in his 5-year deal.
And Odell, who is more of the humble assassin, has recently been attacked by football fans all over on social media, questioning his manhood and sexuality. This is what really triggered ODB's anger in my opinion. For a week up until game-day, media-troll accounts such as “Black Adam Schefter” and “The Shade Room” have posted videos and pictures to insinuate that ODB may be homosexual, which if you're not, could strike a nerve.
Then adding fuel to the fire, reports have been released that the Panthers were throwing gay slurs at ODB during the pre-game, along with threatening him with a bat. The Panthers have denied the accusation, but it's hard to believe that they didn't.
So when you add all that up, you get what you saw on Sunday: two players, that do not like each other, have little respect for one another, and want to upstage one another.
Up until ODB's head shot, I enjoyed watching the two players go at it. It was a battle and a fight, which we don't see too often in this “Friendly” era of the NFL. Deion Sanders made a great point about how both players were looking to beat each other down mentally and physically, which is part of the game at the NFL level.
ODB's suspension is appropriate with his action but he shouldn't be the only one targeted in this situation. Both players were participating in the extra activity on the field, and Norman has proved to be an agitator so far this season. I don't think Norman should be suspended but I do think the media should direct some of their disapproval towards him as well. If you have a problem with ODB's actions, then Norman's should bother you too.
Even after the game was over Norman still continued to throw shots at ODB. He called ODB “a little kid” and “immature”, which I don't agree with at all. This is the first time ODB has played in that manner, and has always turned the other cheek when other players have tried to get under his skin in the past. Even when reporters asked ODB about the altercations with Norman, he simply replied “It's unfortunate that we loss” multiple times. Regretfully, he allowed social media and Norman to get under his skin, causing the chaos.
Norman threw a few more shots at ODB with a couple tweets, one of which is evidence that the Panthers were throwing gay slurs at ODB. I think what Josh Norman has done this season is very phenomenal and inspiring, being a 5th round draft pick out of Coastal Carolina, but I do believe he is a little too cocky. One must continue to prove that they are the best and that does not happen in one season. The numbers will reflect that he is the top corner, holding the best receivers to virtually nothing, but he will have to see these same receivers again.
If the Giants can make it to the playoffs, only by winning the terrible NFC East, ODB vs Norman round two will be very entertaining.