By Juliette Arcodia, Mirna Alsharif and Diana Dasrath
Police escorted football star Odell Beckham Jr. off an American Airlines flight Sunday morning in Florida after crew members who tried to wake him up before departure grew concerned because he "appeared to be coming in and out of consciousness," officials said.
Beckham, a Super Bowl-winning wide receiver, is scheduled to begin visiting teams he could sign with as a free agent on Thursday. He most recently played for the Los Angeles Rams. Miami-Dade police responded to American Airlines Flight 1228 in Miami, bound for Los Angeles, at around 9:30 a.m. after flight attendants called for help out of fear that Beckham was ill and "his condition would worsen through the expected 5 hour flight," police said.
"Upon the officers arrival, the flight crew asked Mr. Beckham several times to exit the aircraft, which he refused," police said in a statement. "The aircraft was deplaned, at which time Mr. Beckham was asked by the officers to exit the plane, and did so without incident."
American Airlines said in a statement the Los Angeles-bound plane “returned to the gate before takeoff due to a customer failing to follow crew member instructions and refusing to fasten their seatbelt” before it eventually departed at 10:54 a.m.
An attorney for the football star said Beckham had fallen asleep with a blanket over his head on the Sunday flight before it could take off. He was woken up and told he would have to get off the plane “because he did not put his seatbelt on when asked,” attorney Daniel Davillier said in a statement.
This article originally appeared on NBC