When we think about Odell Beckham Jr., we tend to think of the same few things — The Catch against Dallas back in 2014, his signature bleach-blonde curls, his emotional sideline displays — but there’s so much more to the star wide receiver. Thanks to GQ’s Mark Anthony Green, we got a deeper look into Beckham’s psyche during what is a pivotal time in his still-young career as he approaches a fresh start in Cleveland after being traded to the Browns by the New York Giants in the off-season.
The interview, which you can (and really should) read in full here, goes in depth on matters of media image, league politics, race, his critics, fans and wrestling with his own happiness. It also touches on the light-hearted stuff, too — including, yes, his hair.
Here are just a few of the things we learned about Beckham through the August 2019 cover story:
He has a chrome ornament of The Catch on the hood of his (bright orange*) Rolls Royce.
He posted a fun little video of it on Instagram back in May, but we’re just learning about this now and can’t get enough of it.
959.7k Likes, 16.7k Comments – Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) on Instagram: “”Picture me on da frontta da roof like this!!!!” Preciate u family !!!! @dreamworksmotorsports…”
(*Was the car a sign of things to come? Perhaps: “And even thinking about my car: I had ordered that car in December,” Beckham said. “In December, I was like, ‘Man, I want the one with the orange inside.’ And then I get traded to Cleveland, and it’s just so funny because it was like I had been feeling a shift in my life.”)
He hears your criticism, but doesn’t agree with it.
“I get made out to be some rule breaker. I’m following your rules and your guidelines, but I’m just having fun doing it! It’s crazy because you give us a voice and then you want to control how we use the voice. And I’ve been having questions about it recently, because it doesn’t really make sense to me. It’s like you create a monster, but then you don’t know how to control it anymore, so then you want to tear it down. It’s all backwards.”
He thought about retiring at age 24.
“Twenty-four years old. Just off it. To love something so much to a place where it is my everything, and to watch it be tainted, or all kinds of things be in the middle of it. Like, it hurt me to my soul.”
He questions how he’s portrayed in the media.
“My on-the-field football never gets talked about unless people are talking about antics. They don’t talk about numbers. Where’s the reel at? People only want to focus on one thing. I feel like I’m one of the only people in the NFL where my personal life and my brand are the only things that get talked about. They’ll do a whole segment about the car that I have on ESPN. Why? I’ve never been arrested. Never have and never will be putting my hands on a woman. I’ve never done any crimes. I’ve never done anything but some little petty, dumb stuff that we keep harping on.”
He felt disrespected when he first learned the Giants traded him.
“My initial reaction was not disappointment.… I felt disrespected. Like, after everything I’ve done for them. This is me being honest: This team has not been good for the last six years. Period.
“…I felt disrespected, because I felt like I was a main reason at keeping that brand alive. They were getting prime-time games, still, as a 5-and-11 team. Why? Because people want to see the show. You want to see me play. That’s just real rap. I’m not sitting here like, ‘It’s because of me.’ But let’s just be real. That’s why we’re still getting prime-time games. I felt disrespected they weren’t even man enough to even sit me down to my face and tell me what’s going on.”
There could be a new ‘do in his future.
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) July 22, 2019
He wants to play 10 more years… or until he passes Jerry’s Rice’s record.
“That’s the goal: 23,000 yards.”