Odell Beckham Jr. is arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL.
Josh Norman is arguably the top cornerback in the league.
And the two went at it with everything they had, setting off plenty of fireworks Sunday, when the New York Giants hosted the Carolina Panthers.
And the insults kept coming well after the Panthers scored a 38-35 victory, improving to 14-0.
In particular, Norman took offense to a play in which Beckham ran down the field and launched himself into the Panthers cornerback for a helmet-to-helmet hit. It was an act that many deemed a dirty play.
Norman said the real Odell Beckham Jr. is more like "Michael Jackson" or a "ballerina" who likes to dance and should save the tough-guy tactics for legit rough riders.
"You know you don't train like that," Norman told ESPN. "That's not you. That's not who you are. You're going to be Michael Jackson and go around and dancing and playing and a lot of other stuff and not be a football player and not train the way you're supposed to train. It goes to show. I hope I pulled that mask off. I pulled back the face of what that dude really is. You want to play football, play football. Don't come out here and do all that extra stuff."
Norman added: "You going to get out here, and you're going to dance around and prance around like you're a ballerina, that goes to show you. When you cut back layers, you see. Everybody saw that live on national TV. There's nothing that I can show that he hasn't already been exposed. The maturity level on him is just as a little kid. I think he needs to grow. I tried to do my best to respect people."
Norman implored the league to review the dirty play and possibly suspend Beckham.
Meanwhile, Beckham maintains that he was just being competitive.
“We are out there playing football,” he told the New York Times. “We are competing. You are a competitor. I’m a competitor. We are always going to go at it."
That explanation didn't stop Norman from thrashing Beckham via Twitter afterward, re-posting an image of the Giants wide receiver's iconic one-handed catch from last season, except this depiction had him holding the letter L, as in loss.
In addition to drawing the ire of Norman, Beckham also irked Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, imitating his dab touchdown celebration, although those two embraced and briefly spoke on the field following the game.
BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.
(Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)
TRENDING IN NEWS