Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. apparently believes owners of NFL teams are negligent in allowing a 2020 season of football to happen as the country continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although his interview with the Wall Street Journal Magazine took place before Beckham arrived at training camp and saw the safety measures and facilities available, he is quoted in the story as saying that the decision to have a season right now is happening strictly for earning revenue and that owners look at their players as inhuman.
"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.”
He continued: “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."
That said, the interview did occur two weeks ago, before Beckham saw “how safe” the Browns' facility actually is and so as of now, he is not opting out of participating in the forthcoming season. According to ESPN.com, more than 40 NFL players have elected to opt out of the 2020 season thus far, two of them being from Beckham’s team.
Several positive COVID-19 cases have sprung up across the NFL with players, coaches, and team personnel having contracted the virus. The league’s preseason has already been cancelled, and even though a new regular season is still scheduled, it’s unclear whether a full season will happen, especially if cases of the virus continue to rise nationally.