Odell Beckham Jr. has been no stranger to controversy over the years. Today was no exception. In a wide ranging interview with the Wall Street Journal Magazine, Beckham did NOT hold back.
The article covered a lot of what Beckham was up to, from his mental health struggles to the founding of Brand X (his nutritional supplement company) to his work with Black Lives Matter Foundation. He actually gave the interview from a boat off the coast of Mexico, where he flew private to “avoid coronavirus” and was “jumping in the water and getting on [a] jetski” as soon as the interview was over.
But it was Beckham’s thoughts on the NFL that are making waves.
The interviewer at one point asks Odell whether he still has doubts about the NFL coming back this season. He not only doubles down on his original comments from his must watch one hour video with Cam Newton, Victor Cruz, and Todd Gurley, but expands on his reasoning.
That’s how I feel. Obviously with everything that’s going on, it doesn’t make sense why we’re trying to do this. I can understand basketball was already in the playoffs. Five-on-five basketball in an arena is going to be more intense than regular-season games. Hooping is different than playing an eleven-on-eleven contact sport where there’s 80 people in a locker room. We’re not ready for football season. So why are we trying to push forward? It’s obviously for their money. And that bothers me because there’s always been this—and I hate saying it like that—but the owners’ [attitude is], Oh we own you guys, and just kind of that unfairness going on that they don’t see us as human. I just feel like the season shouldn’t happen and I’m prepared for it to not happen and I wouldn’t mind not having it.
"It doesn’t make sense why we’re trying to do this."
"It’s obviously for their money. "
"We’re not ready for it to happen."
Welp, this does NOT bode well for the upcoming season.
Training camp is happening (checks calendar) RIGHT NOW. If the league isn’t ready for the season during training camp, then FUCCCCKKKK.
To me, if a high caliber, highly paid player like OBJ is feeling this way, there are probably numerous players feeling in a similar fashion.
With major figures in the NFL like J.J. Watt and Patrick Mahomes expressing reservations about the NFL’s approach to restarting the season, it seems like the NFL has some tough sledding ahead to get to the regular season on time like the NFL keeps saying their on schedule to do. Vocal players like OBJ are going to make Goodell’s efforts to force the season come hell or high water that much more difficult.
And even though OBJ has opted in for the 2020-2021 NFL season, it doesn’t mean that if things go off the rails, he won’t lead the charge to put the brakes on things.
We know all leagues are desperate to get the ball rolling for sports to resume, whether it’s the NFL or the NCAA. But what we’re seeing is that players are coming to the realization that this desperation has shifted the balance of power to the athlete, whether that’s players opting out, or conferences like the Pac 12 threatening to boycott if the NCAA doesn’t make wholesale changes as a governing body.
We all hope football comes back, but if the powers that be can’t assure player safety, we’re in for a rocky road.