Free-agent receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has a way of making news even when he isn’t trying to. He apparently wasn’t trying to make news on Sunday morning. He did anyway.
He had to leave a flight from Miami to L.A., allegedly after refusing to fasten his seat belt. Miami-Dade police issued a statement on the situation. Beckham’s later, Daniel Davilier, has issued a statement on Beckham’s behalf.
“Earlier today, Odell Beckham Jr boarded a morning flight in Miami without any problems,” the statement reads. “The flight was delayed after boarding and prior to take off. Mr. Beckham fell asleep with his blanket over his head, which is his normal practice for long flights. He was awaken[ed] and told that the plane was back at the gate and that he needed to get off the plane because he did not put his seatbelt on when asked. He responded that he was asleep, and that he would put his seatbelt on at that time. He was informed that it was too late, and that either he would have to get off the plane or everyone would have to deplane.
“The overzealous flight attendant insisted on removing everyone from the plane instead of simply allowing Mr. Beckham to fasten his seatbelt and proceed with the flight. At no time was Mr. Beckham disruptive or combative. He was willing to comply with the seatbelt requirement, but the flight attendant wanted to prove that he had the authority to have Mr. Beckham removed from the flight. The airline proceeded to send Mr. Beckham’s luggage to Los Angeles without him.
“That incident was unnecessary. Sleeping on a plane should not be a cause for removal from a flight. If they could wake him up when the flight returned to the gate, then they could have done the same thing to ask him to put on his seatbelt.”
Beckham faces no charges. But he has every right to offer his take on the events, given the negative implication of the airline’s version.
The situation unfolded on an American Airlines flight. Chances are he’ll consider taking Delta when he starts his free-agent tour later this week.