Odell Beckham, Jr. felt ‘disrespected’ when he was traded
Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. says he felt ‘disrespected’ when he was traded from the New York Giants to the Cleveland Browns due to the way he was told
There’s no doubt that the biggest story this offseason for the Cleveland Browns was the acquisition of wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. Added in a trade with the New York Giants, OBJ gives the Browns their biggest playmaker at a skill position — and should help second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield take the next step as a quarterback.
He also brings a rather large spotlight. Beckham is a polarizing figure who gets attention for every move he makes. In fact, he even once said he felt as though he were the most scrutinized player in the entire league.
After watching his first few months with the Browns, its hard to disagree with that sentiment. OBJ has been the center of attention and it’s almost as if some people are just waiting for something bad to happen with him.
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One example is how people assumed he was mad about going to Cleveland after he went quiet on social media. No one cared that he was a real person with real feelings, all they saw was a reaction they didn’t anticipate and so they ran with it. As for Beckham, he simply felt hurt as the only NFL team he ever knew decided to move on.
And while he knew something was coming and was ready for a change, he felt disrespected by New York due to the way they let him know about the trade. That feeling led to his emotional reaction and is completely understandable considering he gave them everything on the field, and they said goodbye with a text.
"“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.” — Beckham said via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com"
While he was ready for a change, Beckham admitted in the interview that it was hard for reasons no one realized. He said it brought back memories of his youth where he and his mother had to move a lot. Once he felt comfortable somewhere, he and his mom had to move. Now in the NFL, he got comfortable with the Giants and is starting his life over somewhere else — somewhere unfamiliar.
Again, it’s a stark reminder that these aren’t just numbers on a football field. There are real human beings behind every face mask and it’s so unfair to continually put them in a box. Calling a guy like OBJ out for not being at OTAs or not reacting to being traded the way he is “supposed to” is degrading. Everyone is different and has their own backstory that plays into how they react to everything that happens to them in life.
Some players hide those reactions simply because it’s not the way the narrative is supposed to go. As for Beckham, he’s not your typical athlete. He’s an emotional player who cares about his friends and family. That’s part of what makes him great, but for some reason it irks those who want the boring, rehearsed answer to every question asked.
This was summed up best by Beckham, who is confused as to why certain members of the media want them to have a voice, but only one they can control.
"“It’s crazy because you give us a voice and then you want to control how we use the voice.“"
OBJ said he has never been arrested, never put his hands on a woman in violence and yet the narrative is all about stupid things (like punching a kicking net). He’s right that this isn’t fair and he deserves better.
In Cleveland, hopefully the fans will allow him to be himself and just enjoy the game. He can use that as much as the team can use an explosive playmaker at wide receiver.