While the NFL tries to put together a safe season despite a global pandemic, one of the league's biggest stars has expressed his doubts.
"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," he said. "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."
It's worth noting that the interview was conducted two weeks ago, and OBJ has since had a change of heart, as Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot reports.
This isn't the first time OBJ has put things in perspective in regards to the coronavirus. During a roundtable conversation spearheaded by Victor Cruz, Beckham explained that football has taken a backseat to things he feels are more important during this pandemic.
"Playing football has taken a back seat as far as my safety and my health," he said before explaining that he's come to terms with the idea of not playing the game he loves. "I’m not trying to catch COVID and spread it to my family and my loved ones. I’ve kind of just relaxed with the idea that I might not be playing this year. There are other issues at hand that we have to handle first."
Odell's stance echoes a growing feeling among NFL players. Prior to reporting to training camp in July, a host of players took to Twitter with a calculated social media campaign. The players used the hashtag #WeWantToPlay to explain that they are willing to take the field if the NFL promises to create an environment that adheres to social distancing regulations.
Although training camp started on July 28, a lot of players have yet to report, while others have totally opted out of the season. Also, the NFL seems to be putting profit over safety as the league is still weighing out controversial options. For example, the league announced that fans would have to wear a mask if they wanted to attend games instead of banning them altogether.