The one-on-one match-up that was, undoubtedly, hyped up by every football media outlet this past week featured two of the games rising stars: Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman. Both have star power, the likes that we have seen only from some of the NFL’s biggest and brightest players and they no doubt belong in a conversation including great players. They both backup the hype as well. The battle between these two was as legitimate a contest as it would get. The Giants were in position to take over the NFC East, while the Panthers seemed unstoppable as they rolled into Giant territory undefeated at 13-0.
Then Josh Norman proved he was the lockdown corner we believed him to be.
That being said, Odell Beckham Jr. should immediately be suspended for the rest of the season and any other ruling should throw into question what it means to “tarnish the shield.”
The behavior displayed by OBJ in MetLife Stadium was anything but kosher and everything but civil. Whether it was punching, slapping, or launching into someone’s head with a 15-yard head start, Beckham showed the exact reason that the term “tarnish the shield” was invented. Players have been thrown out of games for much less than what he did.
Beckham generates too much money and attracts too many eyes to throw him out of the game, right? Even if he generates a couple unsportsmanlike conduct calls, a couple unnecessary roughness calls, starts a few brawls, attack another player’s head (which the NFL apparently cares about now), and refuses to acknowledge his hideous behavior, we can all agree he was just “fired up” for competition, right? Makes you wonder whether or not Beckham Jr. will get a letter from someone at the game saying that he was a bad influence on a child like Cam Newton received when he danced in the end zone.
Yes, this is what the NFL has become.
Cam Newton got crucified by players, the media, and fans for his elaborate dances after scoring a touchdown. Ndamukong Suh has been condemned by everyone relevant to sports for his dirty antics on the field for years. It is time that someone pulls out the stops and addresses Beckham Jr.’s behavior. We cannot standby and allow him to act the way he did without being condemned in the harshest way possible.
I mean, think about the children.
To allow OBJ to charade around the league for the next week without a full-blown apology and suspension letter would be a travesty and a black stain the league would never be able to wash away. His behavior threw most minds back to the battle that took place between Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan. Both players were ejected from that game and significant penalties were thrown toward the clear aggressor, which was Finnegan.
Precedent, in this case, has been established and anything less than a fine and two-game suspension would be a disgraceful handling of the matter. To allow OBJ to act the way he did and cover it with ridiculous banter sporting the idea that they got into a “heated battle” is disgusting. There was nothing competitive OR grown-up about Beckham Jr.’s on-field behavior.
The league did officially state that it was reviewing the game tape of the incidents. So all judgement of the league should indeed be left for after the punishment they hand down is released but if Roger Goodell thought Tom Brady was guilty enough to get suspended, wait until he sees Beckham Jr. launch off his screen.