Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey and Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. were getting chippy all game Sunday during Cleveland’s 40-25 victory. There were no ejections, only offsetting penalties, when the two locked up, Beckham took a swing, then Humphrey threw him to the ground. Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens wanted Humphrey tossed for strangling his player, but today the Ravens went on the offensive and released a video, as well as a shameless article, supposedly absolving their player of blame.
According to the Ravens, this video shows that Marlon Humphrey did not choke Odell Beckham Jr. He grabbed OBJ’s jersey, took him to the ground, then pressed his fist into his opponent’s neck, which is technically not a choke, but an attempted suffocation.
That silent, NFL Films-quality clip wasn’t enough. The team had staff writer Ryan Mink write a slobbering article where he recapped half of what happened and made sure to note Humphrey wasn’t at fault for anything:
Humphrey definitely did not choke Beckham.
Instead, Humphrey did what he’s coached to do: protect himself, all while holding on to Beckham’s jersey the entire time.
Anyone with functioning eyes can watch the video and see Humphrey press his fist into the space between Beckham’s helmet and pads—i.e., Beckham’s neck. The argument here isn’t even that OBJ is blameless. Receivers and defensive backs lock up and shove each other all the time; there’s nothing unusual or crazy about that. Trying to truther a player smothering his opponent is just stupidly shameless, though. At this point, the players are over it, and Kitchens doesn’t want to talk about it anymore.