The Odell Beckham vs. Josh Norman and the Carolina Panthers story has now taken a turn toward the bizarre, with discussions about pre-game homephobic slurs and threats made toward the New York Giants wide receiver with a baseball bat.
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
Panthers officials deny strongly any threats or slurs were made and are adamant they have long used a bat as a motivating prop...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 21, 2015
Art Stapleton of The Record also reported threats made to Beckham before the game:
A source told The Record that, on the field before the game, Carolina cornerback Josh Norman had a baseball bat during warmups and was swinging it while walking on the sideline. The perception was that he sending a message to Beckham.
I'm told there were comments also made in the direction of Beckham and other players about how the Panthers were coming to "beat the [expletive] out of him."
Here is some video showing the Panthers with the bat before the game.
Here is Norman with the bat before the game:
I don't know what to think, and I wouldn't advise jumping to any conclusions here. Why are teams allowed to bring baseball bats, or anything that could be used as a weapon, on the field pre-game? Why didn't this come to light Sunday? I have no idea. Whatever the truth is here, one would hope Beckham would be able to direct his anger and energy toward winning a football game, not trying to exact physical revenge. Stay tuned.