Daniel Davillier, lawyer for NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr., shared his client’s side of an incident in which he was escorted off a plane in Miami by police after failing to listen to flight attendants who told him to fasten his seat belt.
Miami-Dade Police Department released a statement via NFL Network that said Beckham was “in and out of consciousness” and that the flight attendants feared he was “seriously ill.”
“At approximately 9:30 a.m., officers from Miami-Dade Police Department, were dispatched to a medical emergency at an American Airlines flight,” police told NFL Network in a statement. “The flight crew was concerned for a passenger (Mr. Odell Beckham), as they tried to wake him to fasten his seat belt, 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 worsen through the expected 5 hour flight, the attendants called for police and fire rescue. Upon the officers (sic) arrival, the flight crew asked Mr. Beckham several times to exit the aircraft, which he refused.”
Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
(Patrick Smith/Getty Images/File)
“The aircraft was deplaned, at which time Mr. Beckham was asked by the officers to exit the plane, and did so without incident. Mr. Beckham was escorted to the non-secure area of the terminal by the officers where he made other arrangements.”
Davillier has an entirely different story, saying instead that Beckham was sleeping and did eventually fasten his seat belt.
“Odell Beckham Jr. boarded a morning flight in Miami without any problems,” Davillier began in a lengthy statement to NFL Network. “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 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.
“That 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 could have done the same thing to ask him to put on his seatbelt.”
Odell Beckham Jr. holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sept. 8, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
Beckham posted a bunch of tweets presumably in response to what occurred.
“Never in my life have I experienced what just happened to me… I’ve seen it all..,” he tweeted.
“I COULD NEVER MAKE THIS UP.”
He added: “comedy hr’
This isn’t the best news for Beckham, who has reportedly been meeting with teams to figure out who will have the best deal for him to sign. However, it doesn’t appear Beckham is being charged with anything in this situation.
The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants are among the teams looking into his services, though it could be possible that Beckham met with the Miami Dolphins as well, considering where his flight incident occurred.
Beckham was reportedly set for team meetings after Thanksgiving.
Odell Beckham Jr. attends the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat game at FTX Arena on Nov. 14, 2022, in Miami.
(Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Beckham had been recovering from an ACL tear that he suffered during the Super Bowl in February with the Los Angeles Rams, who defeated the Cincinnati Bengals to give Beckham his first career ring. He had a touchdown catch in the game prior to his injury occurring at SoFi Stadium.