Judging from the contract he just signed, which will pay him $95 million over the next five years, making him the highest-paid wide receiver in professional football, will the New York Giants’ Odell Beckham, Jr. at least concede that he is a well-paid zoo animal?
It’s frankly refreshing to hear a black professional football player bitch about something other than police brutality, but — money aside — Beckham doesn’t have that much room to complain about anything. During the 2017 playoffs, he jetted down to South Beach to party with Justin Bieber before a big game with the Green Bay Packers. The rest of the team stayed in New York to practice, but it wasn’t enough to offset Beckham’s severe case of the drops on game day. His team ended up losing to Green Bay by a score of 38 to 13.
But that was then, and now Beckham is sounding off about how Giants fans treat him differently from his white teammates:
To me, I be feeling like, I tell people this all the time: I really feel like a zoo animal. Like that’s where life’s gone for me. You know, you used to take your kids to the zoo and we used to be like, you know, I want to see the lions or let’s go see the lions. And you go out there, and the lions are laid out. You know what I mean? And it’s like, why aren’t they doing lion stuff, you know what I mean? Like I’ve got people who call out, Odell! Dance! Like, I’m a show punk, a show monkey or something. Like I’m a puppet, you know what I mean? And it’s like to me, that doesn’t feel good, but it’s like, damn, that’s what life became. But, can you ever really detach from that?
Here is a video of his rant.
Imagine: People calling out, “Odell, dance!” What could possibly have fueled such a show of disrespect to an NFL superstar? Maybe it’s tiresome on-field antics like these:
Perhaps Beckham should also consider that he and other black athletes are singled out in this way by fans because white players don’t perform “end zone dances” when they score.
Some teams have developed such elaborate after-touchdown celebrations involving mulitple players that the league began penalizing teams for excessive rituals a few years back. And that’s not to mention the unfortunate impact these stunts have had on children. The child who is flagged for an end zone dance in this video is six years old: