Odell Beckham Jr. has been grounded, literally. The NFL free agent was removed by police from an aircraft before takeoff at Miami International Airport after officials said he failed to respond to requests to buckle his seatbelt and appeared to be unconscious.
According to the Miami-Dade Police Department, Beckham Jr. was removed from the plane at 9:30 am on Sunday, after officers were dispatched for a “medical emergency” on an American Airlines flight.
Detective Argemis “AC” Colome of the Miami-Dade Police Department, told ET, “The flight crew was concerned for a passenger [Mr. Odell Beckham Jr.], as they tried to wake him to fasten his seatbelt, he appeared to be coming in and out of consciousness, prior to their departure. fearing that mr. Beckham was seriously ill, and that his condition would have worsened through the expected five-hour flight, the attendants called for police and fire rescue.”
“Upon the officers’ arrival, the flight crew asked Mr. Beckham several times to exit the aircraft, which he refused. The aircraft was deplaned, at which time Mr. Beckham was asked by the officers to exit the plane, and did so without incidents,” Colome said. “Mr. Beckham was escorted to the non-secure area of the terminal by the officers where he made other arrangements.”
The 30-year-old wide receiver took to Twitter after the incident, writing, “Never in my life have I experienced what just happened to me… I’ve seen it alll..”
He continued to address the situation in a series of other tweets, posting, “I COULD NEVER MAKE THIS UP,” while adding a crying-laughing emoji and the words “comedy hr.” in the second.
Daniel E. Davillier, an attorney for Beckham Jr., claims that the incident was due to an “overzealous flight attendant.”
“Earlier today, Odell Beckham Jr. boarded a morning flight in Miami without any problems. The flight was delayed after boarding and prior to takeoff, Mr. Beckham fell asleep with his blanket over his head, which is his normal practice for long flights, Davillier told ET. “He was awakened 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 refused to simply allow Mr. Beckham to fasten his seatbelt and proceed with the flight and instead immediately removed everyone from the plane,” Davillier confessed. “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 attorney called the incident “completely unnecessary,” adding that if Beckham Jr. could be woken up “when the flight returned to the gate, then they could have done the same thing and woken him up to ask him to put on his seatbelt.”
Beckham Jr. was not officially cited or detained as part of the incident.
The off-field controversy comes just days ahead of the Super Bowl winner’s scheduled visit with the Dallas Cowboys, who have been publicly courting his services as he plans a return to the field. The former Los Angeles Rams standout, who’s yet to play in 2022 due to a torn ACL suffered in February, is also scheduled to visit the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills in the near future.
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