NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Giants’ standout receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will miss Sunday’s National Football League game against the Minnesota Vikings after his one-game suspension was upheld following an appeals hearing on Wednesday.
The ruling came down from appeals officer James Thrash, a former NFL player, who is jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFL Players Association to hear appeals of on-field discipline.
Beckham had been suspended on Monday by NFL vice president of soccer operations Merton Hanks for multiple violations of safety-related playing rules last Sunday in a 38-35 loss against the Carolina Panthers.
“Acts that jeopardize the safety of players or expose them to unnecessary risk cannot be tolerated,” Hanks said in his letter to Beckham on Monday.
Beckham was penalized three times for unnecessary roughness, including a late helmet-to-helmet hit against a defenseless player, cornerback Josh Norman, in which Beckham left his feet prior to contact to spring forward and upward into his opponent.
Beckham and Norman, who the Giants said had taunted the receiver, were involved in several skirmishes during the game in a showdown match-up of the two Pro Bowl players.
Norman himself was penalized twice for personal fouls in the game.
“I owe some people an apology,” second-year player Beckham said in a statement issued by the club after the ruling.
”I wasn’t raised to act like I did the other day. I am not here to make excuses for my conduct. This isn’t about anything that was said or done to me.
“This is about my behavior, and I am responsible for my behavior. People expect better from me, and I expect better from myself.”
Beckham apologized to Giants fans and to the team and said he felt a personal responsibility for his “embarrassing” actions.
”A lot of kids look up to me as a role model. That is a responsibility I accept and take seriously,“ Beckham said. ”Many of the parents of those kids have asked since Sunday what they should say to their children about my conduct.
”I don’t have the perfect answer, but I think one thing they can say is how I handled myself the other day is an example of how not to conduct yourself. I displayed poor sportsmanship.
“I hope to be an example of somebody who did something wrong and learned from it.”
Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes