Whatever may be said about the proliferation of national anthem protests this weekend, there is one ironclad rule still in place when it comes to making political statements in the NFL:
You can’t do it in the end zone.
Odell Beckham Jr. learned this when a vulgar reaction to President Donald Trump’s comments drew a penalty and fan backlash.
After catching a 10-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning on Sunday, the Giants receiver got on all fours and pantomimed peeing like a dog — an apparent response to the president’s reference to female canines in his rant about anthem protests Friday night.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now’?” Trump had said.
Just in case there was any question as to Beckham’s intentions, the man himself made it explicitly clear:
If u seen that , I have to tip my hat to u for thinkin outside the box. #URRIGHTONPOINT impressed
— Odell Beckham Jr (@OBJ_3) September 25, 2017
Beckham spoke about the incident after the game.
“I was in the end zone. I scored a touchdown. I’m a dog so I acted like a dog,” he said. “I don’t know if the rulebook said you can’t hike your leg. [The ref] said I peed on somebody, so I was trying to find the imaginary ghost that I peed on. But I didn’t see him.
“Either way it goes, you play football. I wear red and white, I don’t wear black and white. I don’t make calls. I just play football.”
After scoring his second touchdown against the Eagles, a 4-yard reception, OBJ raised his fist in a “black power” gesture.
Odell Beckham raises his fist after scoring for a second time today pic.twitter.com/dy2G3mgEul
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 24, 2017
When asked by a reporter whether that demonstration had meaning, he said, “Did it look like it? OK. Well, if it looked like it, then it might have been something.”
On Tuesday, Giants co-owner John Mara made it clear he was not pleased with the All-Pro receiver’s end zone antics.
In an email to the New York Post, Mara said, “I do not want to get into a discussion about this, but I will say that I am very unhappy with Odell’s behavior on Sunday and we intend to deal with it internally.”
No doubt he was also very unhappy with the outcome of Sunday’s game. The Giants staged a fourth-quarter rally but fell to the Eagles 27-24 thanks to a 61-yard field goal by Philadelphia’s Jake Elliott as time expired.
New York now sits at 0-3, one of five winless teams in the NFL.
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