NFL free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was escorted off of an American Airlines flight from Miami to Los Angeles on Sunday (November 27) due to what the Miami-Dade (Florida) Police Department referred to as a "medical emergency" that caused passengers to deplane, the department confirmed in a statement obtained by NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero.
"At approximately 9:30 a.m., officers from the Miami-Dade Police Department, were dispatched to a medical emergency at an American Airlines flight," the department said. "The flight crew was concerned for a passenger (Mr. Odell Beckham), as they tried to wake him to fasten his seat belt, he appeared to be coming in and out of consciousness, prior to their departure.
"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. Upon the officers [sic] arrival, the flight crew asked Mr. Beckham several times to exit the aircraft, which he refused.
"The aircraft was deplaned, at which time Mr. Beckham was asked by the officers to exit the plane, and did so without incident. Mr. Beckham was escorted to the non-secure area of the terminal by the officers where he made other arrangements."
"American Airlines flight 1228, with service from Miami (MIA) to Los Angeles (LAX), returned to the gate before takeoff due to a customer failing to follow crew member instructions and refusing to fasten their seatbelt," the airline stated. "The customer was removed and the flight re-departed at 10:45 a.m. local time."
Beckham was not detained nor cited in relation to the incident, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department via Pelissero.
"Mr. Beckham fell asleep with his blanket over his head, which is his normal practice for long flights," his attorney, Daniel Davilier, said via NFL.com. "He was awaken 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. He responded that he was asleep, and that he would put his seatbelt on at that time. He was informed that it was too late, and that either he would have to get off the plane or everyone would have to deplane."
Beckham shared multiple tweets after the incident, which included posting, "Never in my life have I experienced what just happened to me" and "comedy [hour]."
Several other passengers complaining about the deplaning incident shared video footage from the airport, which showed numerous other people waiting in the terminal as Beckham was being escorted out by police.
Beckham hasn't appeared in an NFL game since experiencing an ACL tear during Super Bowl LVI in February.
The star receiver recorded two receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown for the eventual champion Los Angeles Rams before being ruled out due to the injury, which he later claimed he'd experienced prior to the Super Bowl.
Beckham is reported to have narrowed down his free agency options to the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and New York Giants, his original NFL team.
The former All-Pro is scheduled to visit the Giants on Thursday (December 1) or Friday (December 2), the Cowboys on December 5 and the Bills at a later date, according to NFL.com.