Beckham shared the thoughts in an interview with Lane Florsheim of WSJ. Magazine. Beckham thinks this season is a money grab for the owners, who he feels are disregarding the health of the players on the field.
“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.”
Stephen A. Smith: Not Time or Place for Odell Beckham’s Comments
To put it simply, Smith does not agree with Beckham and thinks the three-time Pro Bowler should stop whining. Smith ripped Beckham while on ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday, taking particular issue with comments about the owners.
“If you don’t want to play, don’t play. When you have that choice, stop bringing up stuff like, ‘Oh, it’s like they own us.’ Because you know what he’s alluding to when you’re saying that. And there’s a time in a place for it, and more importantly, there’s a sequence or there is a particular incident or whatever the case may be that comes into play where that is a bit more apropos — a bit more applicable,” Smith said. “Not when you’re and NFL who is making millions and has been given the right to walk away for the season. The NFL is choosing to conduct business. They have made it clear they would to know sooner than later if they elect not to play, but you do have the choice not to play and you are not going to lose your contract for it. It’s just you are not going to get paid for a season you choose not to participate in. Last time I checked, that freedom of choice.”
Odell Beckham Not Planning on Opting Out
The comments from Beckham were done in an interview that took place just before the NFL-NFLPA agreement about increased COVID-19 precautions was announced on July 24. Multiple sources have reported that Beckham has no plans to opt out of the season and has been putting in work at training camp.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) August 3, 2020
Still, Beckham’s words just didn’t sit well with Smith.
“Make up your damn mind. Are you going on principal and you feel this way? Or do you not? Oh and by the way — I’m a black man. When you bring up race, make it count,” Smith said. “You have the choice to play and get paid, or don’t play and don’t get paid. It’s a choice, and if it’s a choice, make it. Don’t make it and then whine. You don’t get to do both, and that’s what Odell Beckham is doing here.”