Oh, how difficult it is to be a fabulously rich, incredibly famous professional athlete. It’s a rough life, if you ask them. Or at least some of them, like Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., who has been on the field for all of two days so far this offseason through the first two games of the team’s mandatory minicamp.
“I don’t think anybody knows what it’s like to be me”, Beckham whined during an extended interview sessions yesterday, “and what I go through on a daily basis. Every single thing I have to deal with [is] something that nobody else I feel like has to deal with”.
Now, make no mistake, there are certainly things that fame and fortune brings that are not ideal. Especially as it pertains to the former, it also brings a lot of negative attention, including misguided bile and hatred, death threats, false rumors, and simply a life that is hyperscrunitized and every minor fault is seen as a mortal sin.
That said, as Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin would say, they are appropriately compensation for all of that. nobody deserves to receive death threats, but having tens of millions of dollars probably makes them a bit easier to stomach.
“I feel like I’m in a way different position than anybody else in the NFL”, he continued, not only distinguishing himself from the common man, but also his uncommon peers. “I feel like I deal with more. There’s things I’ve done in the past but as a man I’ve tried to grow a lot and try to put a lot of stuff behind me and it’s like it just keeps getting brought up”.
So, basically, he is a misunderstood soul and nobody can know what he has to go through every day, how difficult it is to live his life. Insofar as that is true, however, is that really any less true than for pretty much everybody else in the world? Do we ever know everything that another person—even our parents, our children, our spouses, our siblings—deal with? We’re all misunderstood in some way, to some degree.
But only a small fraction of us get paid millions of dollars to play a game, albeit a violent and dangerous one that requires a highly specialized skill that truly few can master at this level.
After Beckham skipped OTAs with his new team as the group installs a new offense with a bunch of new places, he lamented that he’s “moving forward”, but “it’s like the only thing we could do is bring up my past”.
I can’t help but read the tone-deaf, sycophantic tone of an Antonio Brown in these comments. When you skip workouts with your new team, whose offense you don’t even know, it’s going to be talked about when you’re boasting about them being Super Bowl contenders and you’re supposed to be a central figure in that.