Odell Beckham Jr.'s one-game suspension has been upheld by NFL appeals officer James Thrash. Beckham will be forced to sit out the Giants' Sunday night game against the Minnesota Vikings and he will lose the $52,529 he was slated to make for that game.
Beckham was suspended by the NFL on Monday for the numerous malicious and violent shots he took against the Panthers in the Giants' 38-35 loss. He and Carolina cornerback Josh Norman exchanged punches in the first quarter. Beckham was flagged three times for unnecessary roughness, but it was his his third-quarter helmet-to-helmet blow to Norman that the league referred in its announcement of the suspension. Norman has been fined more than $26,000 for his combative actions as well.
In two separate statements, Beckham apologized for his actions and to his fans and teammates, though he did not apologize to Norman or the Panthers:
"Acts that jeopardize the safety of players or expose them to unnecessary risk cannot be tolerated," NFL VP of football operations Merton Hanks said in a letter to Beckham after the suspension was handed down.
On Monday, the Bergen Record reported that Norman was carrying a baseball bat on the field during pregame warmups. The report also claimed that some Panthers players were threatening Beckham. Video of Norman wielding the bat was posted by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer.
Carolina, however, denied that any threats had been made and said that a practice squad player named Marcus Ball was the only one swinging the bat before the game. Panthers players added that the bat was a symbol they had used before.
I carried the bat out the tunnel against Atlanta and my teammates held it during warm ups that game to pic.twitter.com/SQTcIy8mrF— Bené Benwikere (@BigPlayBene) December 21, 2015
Panthers coach Ron Rivera called it a "misunderstanding" but said the team would no longer use bats as motivation for "bringing the wood."
This is not the first time that Beckham has been accused of using dirty tactics by an opposing team. After their game against the Giants last year, Bills players claimed that Beckham threw punches on multiple occasions after the whistles.
"It's kind of like you're playing your little brother and he gets mad at you for being too physical with him," cornerback Stephon Gilmore said. "He's a prima donna. He feels like he's on top of the world and nobody's supposed to do anything to him."
As a guest on ESPN's Mike & Mike on Monday, Norman made similar claims.
"That's no Joker, man, that's Harvey Dent. That's Two-Face," Norman said of Beckham. "I mean, that's what he is. I can respect the Joker, 'cause at least he is giving me a sweet contest. He's giving me a sweet, epic battle."
The 6-8 Giants remain just one game behind divisional leader Washington in the NFC East.
"I will not defend his actions yesterday because they were wrong," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said Monday. "I will defend the young man and the quality of his person. I will defend him as long as I'm able. I told our team that. Our team feels the same way about Odell."
Beckham is currently eighth in the NFL in receptions (91), third in receiving yards (1,396) and tied for first in touchdowns (13).