If you watched the Carolina Panthers play the New York Giants on Sunday, you had to be glued to the battle between Carolina cornerback Josh Norman and Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The two battled for most of the game taking physical jabs at each other and clearly exchanging words.
Beckham has been suspended by the NFL for one game in response to one hit he delivered in particular, a blow to the side of the head that could have caused some serious damage to Norman. As many have pointed out, he should have been ejected from the game.
Now comes word via Jason LaConfora that the Giants claim Beckham was called homophobic slurs by Panthers players on Sunday, though they're not saying which player or players did it. There also seems to be some incident with a baseball bat. The Panthers are allegedly denying all of it.
Giants reviewed pregame incidents b/n Panthers players and Beckham. Are convinced he was threatened physically and called homophobic slurs— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 21, 2015
Giants not alleging any particular player saying/doing this but have looked into various pregame interactions and firmly believe it occured— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 21, 2015
If it's true, it doesn't remotely excuse Beckham's behavior, which included that vicious hit. Still, the league should take this seriously as no player should be the target of homophobic slurs.
What makes it more interesting is that the Giants were hosting LGBT youth during the game, in conjunction with the You Can Play project and the Hetrick-Martin Institute. The Giants have a long history of supporting LGBT equality, so it's not surprising that they would take this seriously if it did in fact happen.