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NFL Star Odell Beckham Jr. Removed from Flight Over Suspected 'Medical Emergency'

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NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. had drama stirring around him over the weekend, not because of his free agency, but because he was removed from an American Airlines flight in Miami.

On Sunday morning, the wide receiver was on a plane for a flight from Miami to Los Angeles when the police and a medical crew were called to deal with a “medical emergency,” ESPN reported. The flight crew reportedly told police that they thought Beckham was ill and needed to get off the plane, according to ESPN.

According to a police statement posted to Twitter by NFL Network national reporter Tom Pelissero, “the flight crew was concerned for a passenger (Mr. Odell Beckham), as they tried to wake him to fasten his seatbelt, he appeared to be coming in and out of consciousness, prior to their departure.”

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American Airlines also issued a statement about the incident, which revealed that the plane returned to its gate after an unnamed passenger did not put on a seatbelt.

“American Airlines flight 1228, with service from Miami (MIA) to Los Angeles (LAX), returned to the gate before takeoff due to a customer failing to follow crew member instructions and refusing to fasten their seatbelt. The customer was removed and the flight re-departed at 10:45 a.m. local time,” the airline’s statement read, according to the NFL Network.

In a later statement to the NLF Network, the police clarified that though Beckham initially did not want to leave the plane, he deplaned eventually.

But all the other passengers had to get off the plane before Beckham did, ESPN reported.

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Beckham was not arrested, ESPN reported.

“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 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 incident. Mr. Beckham was escorted to the non-secure area of the terminal by the officers where he made other arrangements,” the police statement read.

In response to the situation, Beckham published a Twitter post declaring, “Never in my life have I experienced what just happened to me.”

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Daniel Davilier, Beckham’s lawyer, also issued a statement saying that the whole issue was avoidable and that Beckham had simply fallen asleep before the plane took off.

“Mr. Beckham fell asleep with his blanket over his head, which is his normal practice for long flights. He was awaken 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,” Davilier’s statement read, according to the NFL Network.

“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,” the statement added.

Davilier also said that Beckham was not combative with the police.

One passenger on the plane confirmed to The Associated Press that Beckham was not disruptive throughout the incident.

“He just walked quietly. Police escorted him out,” the passenger, identified as Carlos Gauna, told the AP.

Beckham had been seated in the plane’s first-class seating, Guana told the AP.

The flight took off two hours after its scheduled departure from Miami, ESPN reported.

Beckham, a free agent who has not yet played this season as he is still recovering from a torn ACL, is being eyed by several NFL teams, NFL Network reported.

This week he is supposed to meet with the New York Giants, his former team. He is also expected to be meeting with the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills in the coming weeks.

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