Odell Beckham Jr. might have gone from New York to Cleveland in the offseason, but it’s been harder than ever to miss the star wide receiver.
The photos are part of Calvin Klein’s new “#MYCALVINS IRL” campaign, which is meant to show high-profile celebrities in their real life, without filter. It also features Namoi Campbell, Bella Hadid, Diplo, Jacob Elordi, Lay Zhang and Jelly Lin.
Beckham posted the billboard photo on his Instagram Monday with the caption: “Here’s a pic of me and a world class lamp,” starting a firestorm of comments.
Odell Beckham Fires Back at Rumors of Being Gay Following Photo
The comments were filled with notes from celebrities, from Diplo to fellow NFL stars like Le’Veon Bell, who wrote: “Okayy Bro,” followed by a bunch of laughing faces. The post has almost double the likes and 10 times the comments that Beckham averages on most posts.
But the photo also started a conversation in the comments thread so heated that Beckham felt the need to respond and defend himself against rumors and comments alleging he is gay.
Here’s what Beckham said in its entirety: “Yallll chilllll mann damnnnn! It be a lot of y’all sayin sus and alll the other comments that realllly be a direct reflection of who u are! Im straight! Like beyond it. If I sit here and defend myself y’all gon say im tryna defend myself , if I sit there and say nothin yalll gon say ‘seee he didn’t say anything..’I’m good wit me. Which is dumb straightttt… Period. lol I don’t neeed to say this shxt no mooooo! Half y’all girls in these comments. This the last time ima break this shxt down for y’all. And lastly before I got hit the weight room! Much love to everybody out there! Fellas sorry man, gotta get a (bag) for it!”
For those who need a translator for Beckham’s language, his main point is that he’s straight — end of story.
Odell Beckham Addresses Gay Rumors in GQ Interview
It wasn’t the first time Beckham has felt the need to address rumors about his sexuality.
Various stories have popped up through the years that painted Beckham as a closeted gay man. For the most part, he has been quiet on the issue, going about his business. But in a recent bombshell interview with GQ, Beckham spoke on how he’s handed the allegations.
“I’ve never had an opportunity to talk about this,” Beckham told GQ’s Mark Anthony Green. “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.”
Green mentions to Beckham in the interview that he felt those kind of stories contributed to homophobia in the black community, a sentiment the wide receiver agreed with.
“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.”
Odell Beckham Tries to Keep His Personal Life Personal
Beckham has dealt with all kinds of double-standards since landing in the spotlight, but says there’s a reason that people don’t see him out with women often.
“I always try to keep my personal life my personal life,” he said. “I feel like I don’t owe that to anybody.”
Beckham’s star as a one-handed catching wonder rose to prominence after “The Catch” in 2015, which will go down as one of the greatest in NFL history.
During his five seasons with the Giants, Beckham hauled in 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in 59 games. He averaged 92.8 yards per game in New York and made the Pro Bowl three times.