Giants still expected to meet with Odell Beckham Jr. despite incident at Miami International Airport

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The New York Giants appear to be undeterred by Sunday’s incident at Miami International Airport that got free agent Odell Beckham Jr. kicked off an American Airlines plane.

According to various reports, the Giants will meet with Beckham Thursday and Friday, possibly bringing him back to the team that selected him with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Beckham was escorted off the plane Sunday morning after Miami-Dade police officers said they were dispatched to a medical emergency aboard the flight that was bound for Los Angeles.

“The term used over the intercom was, ‘We have an issue with a passenger. We have to return back to the gate,’” passenger Carlos Gauna told Local 10 News. “We did see an ambulance show up, we did see paramedics board the airplane.”

The flight crew told officers they were concerned for Beckham’s safety after they attempted to wake him in order for him to fasten his seat belt, police said.

Flight crew members asked Beckham several times to leave the plane, police said, but he refused and as a result, the aircraft was deplaned.

“There was absolutely no noise coming from the first class cabin,” Gauna said. “It was, like I said, very uncharacteristically quiet in the airplane.”

Authorities said after that, Beckham exited the plane without incident.

He was then escorted by officers to a non-secure area of the terminal, where Beckham made other travel arrangements, police said.

“The whole ordeal delayed us two and a half hours,” Gauna said.

Beckham seemed to address the incident in a series of tweets Sunday, one of which read, “Never in my life have I experienced what just happened to me… I’ve seen it alll..”

Daniel Davillier, an attorney for Beckham, sent a statement to ABC News Sunday in regard to the incident. It read:

“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 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. 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.

“This incident was completely 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 and woken him up to ask him to put on his seatbelt.”

Beckham, 30, is a three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver who has been a free agent since helping the Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl last February. He caught a touchdown pass before tearing a knee ligament in that 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

He has been nearing a return from the injury and is considering signing with several teams, including the Giants and the Dallas Cowboys.

Beckham was not detained or charged by police, and officers did not indicate any investigation was being conducted into the incident on the airplane.


About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.