Lifelong Giants fan Tracy Morgan, host of Wednesday’s ESPYs, had a lot to say about his beloved football team during the award show.
A lot of people weren’t pleased with Morgan’s hosting performance, criticizing his opening stand-up comedy routine, but the few laughs he did get were at the expense of the Giants.
Morgan prefaced his first jab of the night by explaining how he doesn’t like when athletes change teams.
“Anthony Davis went to the Lakers. Kawhi went to the Clippers,” Morgan said. “And Odell Beckham Jr. went from my Giants to the Browns. And Odell is sitting there like acting like it was a great idea. The only reason people leave New York for Cleveland is because they are in witness protection.”
Beckham, who was traded back in March for the Browns’ first- and third-round picks as well as safety Jabrill Peppers, offered little response with a smirk and some pointing at the camera while sporting his Browns orange watch. Just as Morgan finished up the joke, cameras caught Odell mouthing, “I got lucky.”
Later in the night, Morgan set up another opportunity to diss the Giants when he found star running back Saquon Barkley, who won an ESPY Award for Best Breakthrough Athlete, sitting in the front row.
“I heard you can deadlift 600 pounds,” Morgan said. “That’s good because you’re going to have to carry the Giants this year.”
The second-year running back took the joke well, laughing despite how true that statement probably is with Beckham gone. Barkley was a bright spot despite the Giants’ 5-11 record last season, earning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors with 1,307 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns and 721 receiving yards.
And despite Morgan’s push for making the Giants his go-to punch line, Barkley’s message was positive.
“I want to give congratulations to all of the nominees. I respect all of you guys. You guys are all tremendous athletes,” Barkley said in his acceptance speech. “I want to say thank you to the Giants organization for drafting me and taking a chance on me. I wouldn’t be able to play the sport I love without you guys, also.”
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