Odell Beckham, Jr. Addresses Gay Rumors ‘It Was Almost More Funny To Me’ & Backlash For Dating White Women
Odell Beckham, Jr. is never shy of a newsworthy moment. In a very candid interview, he spoke out about speculation that he was secretly homosexual, thoughts of retiring early, that shocking trade to the Cleveland Browns and facing a double standard as a Black NFL player.
He said of homosexual rumors,
“I’ve never had an opportunity to talk about this. Honestly wasn’t offended. I’ve never once had no problem with anybody who has their own personal life that they live. I have friends who are gay. It was almost more funny to me. I almost messed with them even more. It’s like when someone gives me an ultimatum, I’m usually always going to go to the opposite way of what you want me to go. So when they would say that, I would almost mess with them even more. I have no problem with anyone’s sexual orientation.”
He agreed that there’s a stigma in the Black community about men being homosexual if they’re “close with other men” before he vented about backlash he has received after being spotted with women outside of his race.
“Even like little videos where they see me leaned back or something, they’ll say that I’m looking at a guy’s ass. And I’m like, “Bro! You don’t even know where my mind is at.” It was just a lose-lose. They’d see me with a white woman and be like, “Why don’t you be with any sisters?” I have no problem with any race. Love is love. If you’re attracted to somebody, you’re attracted to somebody. There was such a stigma built up, [as though] I don’t like my own women. It’s like, no, I don’t like anybody who annoys me.”
He revealed that getting criticism from the black community is what makes the rumors even worse.
“I feel like everything is a double standard. You want us to support the black community, and then you go out and bash black people for being happy. So someone can’t be happy, someone can’t be dancing. “Oh, he’s always around guys, he’s never around girls.” I just don’t want you to see what woman I’m with, and I don’t want you in my personal life. I always try to keep my personal life my personal life. I feel like I don’t owe that to anybody.’
Beckham was a topic of conversation after he debuted a haircut at the ESPY Awards earlier this month. In the interview that took place shortly before, he revealed he already had plans to cut his hair.
“But I would probably grow it back out. I feel like after I cut it I would just get used to not having it. But I know kids all around the world love it. [It’s] definitely [my signature]. I have a personal attachment to it. Just because it’s my hair. It is my hair. I’ve had grown men come up to me with my haircut.”
He also spoke on being traded from the New York Giants to the Cleveland Browns in March. While the move was a shock to fans, it’s safe to say Beckham didn’t see it coming either.
“I was in Paris heading to dinner. I saw the calls and was like, “Wow, I wonder where I’m going.” They had been talking about trading me. They could never get past my past. There’s always that past that whatever happened, I would never be able to outgrow it. That’s why I don’t try to bring none of this to Cleveland. I don’t even care. When I get there, this is a fresh start for me.”
“My initial reaction was not disappointment.… I felt disrespected. Like, after everything I’ve done for them. This is me being honest: This team has not been good for the last six years. Period. Even the year we went to the playoffs and everyone was talking about this and that. And we went there, and I didn’t have a great playoff game. Don’t get me wrong, I had a terrible game. But I left the game with seven targets, and I’m supposed to be your number one receiver. I left the game with seven targets. We lost. They scored 40 points. It’s just all bad. I felt disrespected, because I felt like I was a main reason at keeping that brand alive. They were getting prime-time games, still, as a 5-and-11 team. Why? Because people want to see the show. You want to see me play. That’s just real rap. I’m not sitting here like, “It’s because of me.” But let’s just be real. That’s why we’re still getting prime-time games. I felt disrespected they weren’t even man enough to even sit me down to my face and tell me what’s going on.”
He also spoke on being as happy as he’s ever been, when asked about his 2014 rookie season. But he added his success has made him cautious to “be careful what you ask for.”
“I always say this: I wouldn’t change anything for the world for where I’m at now. I also always say this: Be careful what you ask for and be careful what you speak. I didn’t know that getting to that level—or being on the level, like, where a LeBron is at—that I would have to deal with certain things. Like, I really didn’t know that when I was younger. People ask me what advice I would give, and I’m just like: Be careful what you ask for. Like I said, I wouldn’t change anything for the world, but I wish the world would have more love than hate in it. At this moment? I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’ve never been at this place. And it’s because of the trials and tribulations, it’s because of the mistakes, it’s because of the failures, the successes. Everything that has got me to this point.”
Interestingly enough, he also said he thought about throwing in the towel in football just a couple of years ago.
“Especially on those days I’m down. I could’ve done any sport in the world. Not many people know, but I used to talk to my momma and I’d be like, “Ma, if I was done doing this now, would you still be proud of me?” And this was a couple of years ago, about two or three years ago. Twenty-four years old. Just off it. To love something so much to a place where it is my everything, and to watch it be tainted, or all kinds of things be in the middle of it. Like, it hurt me to my soul. It be like loving someone and putting them on such a level to where life is about them and you love that person through anything. Through the good, the bad. And to watch them do something so heinous and vulgar. Something just so, like, almost unforgivable. You still love them, but it’s, like, Wow.”
He admitted that he’s not a fan of the politics that come along with football.
“Not to get on conspiracy-type talk, but there’s so much other stuff that goes on in the National Football League than football. It’s unreal. I said in college that I fear the day that they make the game I love a business and not just the game I love. And as I slowly, surely, seen that, it changed my heart about it. But then, at the same time, I have to feed my family. I have to set myself up for one day when I have kids—like, I need to set their future.”
He went on to reveal how he feels race is connected to it all.
“Race plays into everything, whether we want to believe it or not. I remember posting a video of me and Tom Brady, and I hate to even bring him in this, but he’s passionate. He cares—he wouldn’t still be playing if he didn’t care for the game the way that he did today. He throws a cup, he yells at referees, he yells at his coach. It’s because he cares that bad. He wants to win that bad. Now, because he has won six Super Bowls they validate him and say, “He’s won six Super Bowls.” I want to win the same way he wants to win. Whether I hit a kicking net or whether I do whatever. I want to win that bad. I care about winning more than anything. I didn’t get into this to celebrate and score touchdowns. I didn’t get into this for followers for Instagram. It’s, like, you’ve built a monster, but now you’re upset at the one you built. Why are you mad at me? While I’m playing football, I’m not holding a camera on myself. Everything is about what you show the world. I get my free time 16 times a year, hopefully, plus a few games when we make the playoffs. I get 16 times to do this. There are 365 days in a year. You’re controlling my freedom. This is my joy, this is my time.”
He also opened up about the realities and uncertainties of being in the NFL, and that’s it certainly not always glamorous behind the scenes.
“I got traded to a new team, I already paid to live here in L.A. for the entire summer. Are the Giants or Cleveland going to reimburse me for what I’ve already paid? Are they going to reimburse my trainers, who I’ve already paid? Are they going to reimburse me for the dogs who I’ve had to put in kennels? There’s a lot of expenses. Are they going to pay for the rehab I was doing? No. They don’t do all of that. That stuff is all on our own. So when it gets time for us to have our own life outside of football, they say something. When the game is done with you, they chew you up, spit you out. You’re done. You’re done. I have to take care of myself and my family. Period.”
As for rumors that he’s not a good teammate, he shut that down as well and said he’s gone as far as having a company send 100 mattresses for him and his team.
“I talk to everybody in the locker room. When someone gives me free stuff, I ask them to send a hundred of them for my teammates. A hundred Sprayground bags… They put them in the locker room. I asked for them to send me Casper mattresses. They sent me 100 Casper mattresses for the staff and the team… A hundred king-size mattresses. They sent it to the facility. I told them to come put ’em in their car after practice.”
Meanwhile, he hinted at retiring in 10 years.
“Or until I can pass Jerry [Rice]. That’s the goal: 23,000 yards.”
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