EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Odell Beckham Jr. didn't win his appeal Wednesday, but he seemed to do some winning in the court of public opinion. Beckham's dual apologies were well-crafted and appropriately directed. He said, as the saying goes, all the right things.
"This isn't about anything that was said or done to me," Beckham said in the second statement, issued by the New York Giants. "This is about my behavior, and I am responsible for my behavior."
I don't care whether Beckham wrote his apologies himself or whether someone wrote them for him. Even if it's the latter, it shows the people around him understand where his focus and his priorities need to be, and that's reason to hope and believe he'll be fine. And I do think he'll be fine. I think he deserves to be be suspended, but I don't think he's a villain or a lunatic or an irretrievable hothead.
Beckham is a smart young man from a good, caring family. He's self-aware, having admitted several times this offseason that his temper is the one thing he thinks can stop him and having said in August he understands why his on-field theatrics might rub some people the wrong way. He's motivated to be an all-time great, and that means he's motivated to overcome whatever's in his way. That includes his on-field temper, and I've talked to enough people since Sunday who would know that I believe he understands what he did wrong and wants to do better in the future.
So much, too much, has been made of all of this in some circles. It has been presented as a referendum on everything from Beckham to millennials to Tom Coughlin to NFL officiating to the issue of on-field trash-talking. This is the hot-take age in which we live. I get that.
But this doesn't have to be about anything more than a brilliant young player and his continued effort to learn and improve the things he needs to learn and improve. The affirmation of the suspension was just and unsurprising. The apologies were pitch-perfect. But what matters most is what happens the next time Beckham is on the field and someone says something to insult or threaten or annoy him. That's going to keep happening. The idea of the suspension as punishment is to make Beckham think and act differently the next time it does. I'll bet on this kid to figure it out, but I'm as curious as everyone else is to see how he handles the next chapter after this one went so badly for him.