Odell Beckham Jr. Issues Apology After Losing Suspension Appeal

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 23, 2015

New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. leaves NFL headquarters in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015. Hearing officer James Thrash upheld the suspension for multiple violations of safety-related playing rules after hearing an appeal by the New York Giants wide receiver earlier in the day. Beckham will miss the game Sunday night at Minnesota. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. feels remorse toward the fans, his organization, kids who look up to him and his teammates. Just not the Carolina Panthers.

Per NFL Network's Rand Getlin, the star receiver’s suspension was upheld in the face of his appeal Wednesday as a result of his actions on the field during New York's Week 15 loss to the Panthers. Beckham issued an apology the same day, per the Giants' official website:       

I owe some people an apology. I wasn’t raised to act like I did the other day. I am not here to make excuses for my conduct. This isn’t about anything that was said or done to me. This is about my behavior, and I am responsible for my behavior. People expect better from me, and I expect better from myself.

First of all, I apologize to the organization I represent, the Giants, and our ownership, John Mara and his family and Steve Tisch and his family. And Jerry Reese, who drafted me and gave me the opportunity to be a part of this organization. 

I want to apologize to Giants fans. They want to be proud of us, and proud of players like me who represent their team. What happened the other day was embarrassing to them and embarrassing to me. 

A lot of kids look up to me as a role model. That is a responsibility I accept and take seriously. Many of the parents of those kids have asked since Sunday what they should say to their children about my conduct. I don’t have the perfect answer, but I think one thing they can say is how I handled myself the other day is an example of how not to conduct yourself. I displayed poor sportsmanship.  And those parents can also say that when you act like that, there are consequences. And I hope to be an example of somebody who did something wrong and learned from it.

I owe Coach Coughlin, our coaches and my teammates an apology. They have had to answer for my actions, and that’s not fair to them. How I conduct myself is my responsibility. I let my coaches and teammates down. 

I am blessed and privileged to play the game I love, and I will do all I can to carry myself in a way that honors the game, the NFL, my team, my coaches, all my fans and my family moving forward. 

Beckham also offered his reasoning for the appeal on Twitter:    

The wide receiver deserves credit for apologizing, owning up to his actions and recognizing himself as a role model. While he reached out to his teammates and coaches for putting the Giants in this predicament, it is notable Beckham doesn't mention Josh Norman or the Panthers in the apology.

Beckham could have seriously injured the star cornerback during Sunday’s game when he elected to launch himself headfirst at Norman and made helmet-to-helmet contact toward the end of the given play. Norman retaliated, and both received personal-foul calls. But it was fortunate for all involved that there weren’t any injuries.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com weighed in on Beckham's statements in light of the receiver's actions:

Beckham committed three personal fouls during the game in a constant back-and-forth with Norman. When Beckham scored, he actually stepped over the cornerback and mocked Carolina quarterback Cam Newton’s signature celebration, as the NFL shared:

Alas, New York will be without arguably its most important player for what is essentially a must-win game against the Minnesota Vikings if it hopes to make the playoffs (the Giants are a game behind Washington in the NFC East with two games left). The NFL on ESPN highlighted just how much New York will miss the playmaker:

The Giants and their fans will be the ones feeling sorry if they lose without Beckham and miss the postseason.