Brad Wing is one of Odell Beckham Jr.'s closest friends and the Giants punter shared his account of the pregame warmup incident that likely instigated a ugly series of viscious hits between cornerback Josh Norman and Beckham.
"There was a guy with the bat not in football gear and he was kind of looking for Odell," recalled Wing. "Odell was dancing around and went to shake his hand and the guy just kind of looked at his hand. I know there were a couple words exchanged between the two and you know we kept warming up, and then I looked back and noticed he was coming back towards us on our side of the field on about the 40 or 35 yard-line. They were yelling at each other. Odell was saying ‘Why are you not playing?’ ‘Why are you not playing?’ It just kind of went back and forth. Then that guy was like, ‘I’ll be the reason you don’t play.’ That’s what he said. After that it kind of got broken up. That’s when I stepped in the middle of them when they were getting pretty close and the ref came in and sent him away and he went back to his side of the field. We just went on with our pregame."
That player, later identified as Panthers practice squad player Marcus Ball, then handed the bat off to Norman who allegedy did not engage in any words with Beckham. Tom Coughlin came to the defense of his prized wide receiver on Wednesday and brought to light the pregame events that provoked Beckham's dangerous play.
Wing's account of the heated pregame exchange was the first time he spoke about the matter publicly, but it doaesn't free Beckham of any blame or make him any less accountable for his actions.