Sometimes, I hear information that stops me dead in my tracks. That was the case when I heard the news that the New Orleans Police Department issued an arrest warrant for Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr.
I scanned the wires, bracing for some god-awful crime that OBJ stood accused of by the NOLA police. And then I found the accusations and the video of the unbelievable incident. Odell Beckham Jr. is charged with simple battery for smacking a Mercedes- Benz Superdome Security Lieutenant on his backside. Yep, I couldn’t believe it. Such a heinous act committed with video to prove it. (Sarcasm intended)
Wait…what? Ok, let’s back the truck up a minute. I thought, surely there must be a mistake. I contacted a friend who lives in NOLA to see what was being said. Sure enough, it was true. While few are taking this very seriously, and many are looking at it as an outright joke, the fact is the NOPD wants OBJ.
My source in New Orleans says many believe that OBJ tapped the officer as a way to distract him from scolding the LSU players who had victory cigars. Smoking inside the Superdome is not permitted.
Technically, the guard was doing his job. But, can we take a minute to read the room? The locker room full of exuberant young men who just earned the top prize in college football might be a place to bend the rules and allow celebration.
Now, do I think OBJ did the right thing? No, it was a bone head move during an emotional moment where a man was caught up in the thrill of seeing his Alma Mater win big. It was likely a playful (yet ill-conceived) attempt by Beckham to distract the officer and give the players some slack.
Now, it is a criminal offence. The officer filed a complaint and initially the charge was misdemeanor sexual battery. Thankfully, the sane voice of Magistrate Court Commissioner Melvin Zeno decided the booty smack did not reach the level of sexual battery. The charge became simple battery.
The Cleveland Browns organization issued this statement in response to the charges.
“We are aware of the incident and have been in touch with Odell and his representatives on the matter. They are cooperating with the proper authorities to appropriately address the situation.”
Additionally, I hear rumblings that the NFL or the Browns could take disciplinary action against Beckham. Just my opinion, fines or suspensions should be reserved for genuine misdeeds.
This begs the question, does NOLA have so little crime that a whack on the backside is a big deal? I believe the NOPD have bigger fish to fry, but apparently the security guard was slap happy.
I’ll keep an eye on this story, then rant accordingly.