The clock is ticking for Odell Beckham Jr. and the NFL to make a decision about the Browns wide receiver’s wristwear.
Beckham made his Cleveland debut last Sunday against the Titans, but the focus wasn’t on his game-high seven catches for 71 yards. Beckham wore a Richard Mille watch, valued at $189,500, during the game, drawing some attention away from a surprising Tennessee blowout.
In a tweet sent out Monday to his nearly four million followers, Beckham addressed critics of his timepiece.
“I’m here to play football,” Beckham told reporters Tuesday (via Cleveland.com). “I would love for them to talk about football and what I do on the field, if I messed up on the field or if I didn’t do well on the field, talk about my performance. Don’t talk about any extracurricular, that’s just it. If anybody else would’ve worn the watch, or if it was a $20 watch, it wouldn’t have been no problem.”
While Beckham wasn’t fined for wearing the watch in the Browns’ regular-season opener, there are questions about how the league will handle the expensive accessory moving forward.
So … why is Odell Beckham Jr. wearing a watch during Browns games?
The simple answer: Beckham wears the watch at all times. Just because he’s playing football doesn’t mean he’s suddenly going to leave it in his locker.
“I’ll still be wearing it,” Beckham said Tuesday when asked if he intends to keep rocking the Richard Mille during games. “The same way I wear it every day, at practice, I go here, I go there. I’ve been wearing it. Take a shower with it on. It’s just on me.”
A spokesperson for the watch company told ESPN Beckham is simply a customer, not a brand ambassador. If you choose a watch worth nearly $190,000 and buy it with your own money, you’re going to have that thing shining everywhere you go — even the shower.
What is Odell Beckham Jr.’s case to keep wearing his watch?
Beckham claims he isn’t breaking any rules. There is nothing under Section 4 (Equipment, Uniforms, Player Appearance) of the NFL rulebook covering watches specifically.
Article 4, Item 2 under Section 4 does detail the prohibition of hard objects, “including but not limited to casts, guards or braces for hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, hip, thigh, knee, and shin, unless such items are appropriately covered on all edges and surfaces by a minimum of 3/8-inch foam rubber or similar soft material.”
However, Beckham feels his watch shouldn’t fall under that category.
“[The rulebook] says you can’t wear any hard objects. The watch is plastic,” Beckham said. “But people have knee braces on that are hard and made out of metal and you don’t see them taping it up, no jewelry on, so I’m good.”
The three-time Pro Bowler also already wore the watch for a full game, so he could try to argue that he shouldn’t be punished now when officials had the opportunity to handle the situation last week. There was no fine or suspension following Week 1, so the precedent has been set.
Unfortunately for Beckham, the league often doesn’t operate that way.
Can the NFL punish Odell Beckham Jr. for wearing his watch?
It’s important to note comparing a watch to a knee brace or piece of jewelry only works to a certain extent. Items worn to protect injuries are permitted as long as they are reported prior to the start of an NFL game. Like watches, jewelry is not mentioned specifically in the league rulebook, but there is a distinguishing factor.
Article 4, Item 1 under Section 4 says hard objects that “project from a player’s person or uniform” are prohibited. That means the NFL could treat the case of Beckham’s watch differently than Michael Crabtree’s chain, which was worn underneath his pads and jersey during games.
On a more basic level, the league could simply say the watch is a hard object, end of discussion. That would pressure Beckham to remove the watch or face the consequences.
The penalties from Article 9 under Section 4:
a) For violation of this Section 4 discovered during pregame warm-ups or at other times prior to the game, player will be advised to make appropriate correction; if the violation is not corrected, player will not be permitted to enter the game.
b) For violation of this Section 4 that is discovered while player is in the game, and which involves the competitive or player safety aspects of the game (e.g., illegal kicking toe of shoe, an adhesive or slippery substance, failure to wear mandatory equipment), player will be removed from the game until he has complied.
c) For any other violation of this Section 4 (e.g., wristbands that are not League-approved, towel with a personal message, impermissible headwear under the helmet) that is discovered while the player is in the game, player will be advised to make appropriate correction at the next change of possession; if the violation is not corrected, player will not be permitted to enter the game.
Essentially, officials could prevent Beckham from entering the game until he complies with the league’s ruling. If the watch stays on, Beckham stays off the field.
The NFL has the final word in these matters, and though Beckham made some valid points about his watch, it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear the league tell Beckham “time’s up.”
OBJ watch photo
Source: Read Full Article