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Josh Norman shakes off Odell Beckham’s verbal jab; ‘He’s relevant because of a catch’

Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants

Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants mixes it up after a play in the first half against Josh Norman #24 of the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Odell Beckham Jr. recently lit another match under the already high-heat rivalry between himself and Josh Norman by telling GQ: “The reason he’s become so relevant is because of me.”

Norman, bound for his first season playing corner with the Redskins after four seasons with the Panthers, threw a little counterpunch at the Giants’ Pro Bowl receiver Thursday night on the red carpet at Barclays Center before the Roc Nation Summer Classic Charity Basketball Tournament.

“He’s relevant because of a catch,” Norman said, referring to Beckham’s outrageous one-handed grab against the Cowboys in 2014. “But we’re not going to go there. We’re not into the war of words. I’m really not, man.”

Beckham clashed repeatedly with Norman in a game last December at MetLife Stadium when Carolina came away with a 38-35 win. Beckham ran and launched himself at Norman for a helmet-to-helmet hit, and ended up with three personal fouls for the game and a one-game suspension.

During this offseason, the Panthers dropped Norman’s franchise tag and Washington signed the first-team All-Pro for five years and $75 million. The Giants and the Redskins see each other twice every regular season in the NFC East. They will play Sept. 25 at MetLife and Jan. 1 at FedExField. Barring an injury to one or both, all eyes will be on Beckham vs. Norman.

“September 25th, we’re going to put that to the test and we’ll see what that looks like,” Norman said.

Beckham also said to GQ that the reason Norman now plays for Washington is “for sure” because of him. Norman was incredulous when those words were passed his way.

“What?” Norman said. “Five for 75,” he added, indicating the offer was the reason he went to Washington.

Sabathia speaks on social change: Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade opened the ESPYs last week with a special message. They referred to the recent violent incidents in the country and the need for change as well as the need for athletes to speak out more against violence and do more in their communities. The Yankees’ CC Sabathia said on the red carpet that he agreed.

“I think what they did at the ESPYs was great,” Sabathia said. “We obviously as a country need to do some things different, start doing whatever we can to get the message out there, not a violent one, a peace message, and get this thing turned around.”

Proceeds from the tickets sold for this charity tournament will be split between Sabathia’s PitCCh In Foundation, Robinson Cano’s RC22 Foundation, Miguel Cotto’s Fundacion El Angel and Nick Jonas’ Beyond Type 1. The four were captains for teams made up of celebrities.

“The last classic, we raised enough money for me to do (a) field renovation in the Bronx,” Sabathia said. “That money went directly toward that baseball field. So hopefully we can raise enough this time to do something like that similar. I want to keep opening up fields for these kids to play on.”

Sabathia said his foundation’s mission is “to help kids through sports and education.”


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