Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. created headlines over the weekend when an airline removed him from a flight outbound out of Miami, citing his combative behavior and inability to stay conscious.

Beckham’s lawyer, Daniel Davilier, defended his client and shifted the blame for the incident onto “an overzealous flight attendant.”

The statement, obtained by NFL insider Ian Rapoport, reads in full:

Earlier today, Odell Beckham Jr. boarded a morning flight in Miami without any problems. 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 awakened and told the plane was back at the gate and that he needed to get off the plane because he did not 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.

The 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 should have done the same thing to ask him to put on his seatbelt.

As of now, it’s impossible to determine which account more accurately conveys the truth of the matter. The answer is likely somewhere in the middle.

Beckham is currently recovering from an ACL injury suffered in the Super Bowl back in February. He’s reportedly a “coin flip” between joining the Dallas Cowboys or the New York Giants upon his return.

[Ian Rapoport]