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Odell Beckham Jr. says ‘Joker’-inspired cleats not a dig at Panthers CB Josh Norman

A detailed view of the cleats worn

A detailed view of the cleats worn by Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on Dec. 14, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Fla. Credit: Getty Images / Mike Ehrmann

Why so serious?

That’s what Odell Beckham Jr. had written on his cleats when he warmed up against the Dolphins on Monday and it’s likely the question he would ask Panthers cornerback Josh Norman if he could. Norman, whose nickname is “Batman,” interpreted Beckham’s Joker-inspired shoe design as a calling card anticipating their matchup this week.

Beckham denied that.

“No coincidence,” he said, insisting a lack of relationship or message. “Just so happened to have it.”

Beckham does not wear the custom-designed cleats in the games — that would be illegal! — but he does for warmups. He started with stars and stripes for the Giants’ Salute to Service game in November. For two weeks he wore Peanuts-themed cleats — Snoopy on one foot, a Charlie Brown sweater on the other — to trumpet the game against the Jets at their shared MetLife Stadium (MetLife uses Peanuts characters as animated endorsers). Last week came the Joker.

“It’s just fun,” Beckham said. “It’s a way of expressing yourself. Whatever you have going on you put it on the shoe. It’s cool. A lot of people seem to like it and by the end of your career you have a big collection of all kinds of custom shoes. I’ll be able to look back and remember special moments, like, ‘When did I wear these?’ and what you wore them for. It’s a lot of fun.”

Beckham said he would not be wearing the Joker cleats on Sunday. Nor would he be using any other Batman villain as inspiration. He, equipment manager Joe Skiba and punter Brad Wing have apparently come up with some kind of design.

So riddle us this: What will it be?

“I’ll probably do something else,” he said. “We’ll have to wait and see.”

New York Sports