If you’re amongst those struggling to understand exactly what was behind Odell Beckham Jr.’s high profile meltdown at the Meadowlands Sunday, the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz claims to have it all figured out :
The Panthers carried a black baseball bat onto the field at MetLife Stadium for pregame warm-ups and, according to sources, one of their players swung it menacingly at Beckham and others made homophobic comments to the Giants receiver prior to the game.
On a video posted on the Giants’ Instagram account, Eli Manning is shown greeting his teammates in the pregame warm-ups, with a Panthers player not in uniform — practice squad safety Marcus Ball — in the background holding a black bat. There is also video from NFL Films showing Norman holding the bat in a pregame huddle.
Ball swung the bat menacingly at Beckham and Panthers players shouted anti-gay slurs at him, according to Giants sources.
The Panthers do not deny the existence of the bat, saying they have used it often before games as a “Bring the wood’’ sort of symbol. Cornerback Bene’ Benwikere, who was injured and did not play in the game, on Twitter explained that he carried the bat before last week’s game against the Falcons. Norman after that game said the bat symbolizes the secondary wanting to make big plays, like home runs.