Odell Beckham Jr.’s touchdown celebration Sunday may have been more political than it at first seemed.
After his first of two TD catches, Beckham crawled in the back of the end zone like a dog and then lifted his leg. The officials flagged it as an excessive celebration, even with new rules that expand allowable forms of expression, and Beckham showed little remorse after the 27-24 loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia.
“I’m a dog, so I acted like a dog,” he said after the game.
On Monday, though, he gave a hint to the meaning behind the gesture on Twitter. A CNN editor postulated in a tweet that Beckham’s role as a dog could have been in response to the remarks of President Donald Trump, who Friday referred to NFL players with derogatory comments. Beckham responded through his verified account:
“If u seen that, I have to tip my hat to u for thinkin outside the box. #URRIGHTONPOINT impressed.”
It may be revisionist history for Beckham, an easy life preserver someone threw to him after what was, no matter the context, a widely disparaged act. But it would seem to fall in line with Beckham’s celebration after his second touchdown when he gave a black power salute from the end zone.
Ben McAdoo was asked about the celebration on a conference call Monday.
“We should be talking about the way he played,” McAdoo said of Beckham’s two scores and nine catches for 79 yards. “He made some great plays in the ballgame, some tremendous plays, game-changing plays. I’d rather be talking about that than the celebration penalty.”
He seemed more irked by the 15 yards it cost on the ensuing kickoff than by the display itself.
“It’s real simple,” McAdoo said. “I don’t want to kick off from the 20-yard line. It doesn’t help our team. It makes it tough on the players who are covering the kick and it makes an impact on field position.”
McAdoo, who said Sunday that he had not seen the display, was asked for his interpretation of it as well as Beckham’s claim that he might do it again.
“I gave you my response,” McAdoo said.
Asked if the organization was embarrassed by it, he said: “I just gave you my response.”
Eagles coach Doug Pederson had a response, too.
“It’s unfortunate,” he said Monday. “I have to control our guys, and every other coach has to control their players. It’s something that you don’t want to see in the game. It takes away from a great play that he just made.”
It is something the Eagles are not likely to forget.
“Our players see it, our fans see it,” Pederson said. “It’s one of those things I think you just kind of file away in the back of your mind. And you just remember those things and move on.”
Those remarks came before Beckham’s quasi-explanation. Beckham was clotheslined by Malcolm Jenkins on a deep pass route later in the game. The Giants face the Eagles again Dec. 17 at MetLife Stadium.