Odell Beckham Jr. got a first-time experience he wasn’t expecting on Sunday. The NFL free agent was escorted off an airplane in Miami for allegedly failing to comply with safety protocols. He seemingly addressed the incident in a series of tweets shortly after it went down.
“Never in my life have I experienced what just happened to me…I’ve seen it all,” Odell wrote. He added, “Never. In. My. Life,” “I COULD NEVER MAKE THIS UP” and “comedy hr” in three separate tweets.
According to a statement from the Miami-Dade Police Department, they received a medical emergency notification at 9:30 a.m. local time. An American Airlines flight crew claims Odell “appeared to be coming in and out of consciousness” prior to the plane’s departure towards Los Angeles.
Unable to wake Beckham so he could buckle his seatbelt, the “concerned” crew called for help, per the police statement.
“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,” the police statement said.
Meanwhile, the aircraft was returned to the gate following an announcement from the captain. An ambulance arrived at the terminal, and paramedics spoke with Odell, who was seated in first class, before three police officers escorted him out.
Another passenger, filmmaker Carlos Gauna, who recorded the moment Odell was escorted, told The Associated Press the NFL player “walked quietly.” His account mirrors the police’s statement, which says Odell exited the plane “without incident.”
Beckham’s Lawyer Slams Attendant For “Unnecessary” Escalation
American Airlines said the plane re-departed at 10:54 a.m. local time. Meanwhile, Odell was forced to make “other arrangements” and did after officers escorted him to the terminal’s non-secure area.
But his lawyer Daniel Davillier called the removal “completely unnecessary” in a follow-up statement. He says Odell was following his normal routine during long flights–falling asleep with a blanket over his head. Davillier says Sunday morning was no different after the athlete boarded the flight with no issues.
“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,” Davillier said. Daniel added, “the overzealous flight attendant refused to simply allow Mr. Beckham to fasten his seatbelt and proceed with the flight and instead immediately removed everyone from the plane. At no time was Mr. Beckham disruptive or combative.”
No charges have been filed against Beckham. He has not made additional public comments on the incident. In his statement, Davillier suggested the flight crew didn’t do enough to wake Odell before escalating the situation.
“Sleeping on a plane should not be a cause for removal from a flight,” Davillier said.27 “If they could wake him up when the flight returned to the gate, then they could have done the same thing and woken him up to ask him to put on his seatbelt.”
Earlier this month, news broke that Beckham is suing Nike under allegations that the retailer swindled more than $20 million from his pockets.