By Matt Loughlin
Odell Beckham, Jr. is in the news again.
The Giants began their organized team activities (OTAs) this week and Beckham did not to participate. Mind you, he doesn’t have to. OTAs are strictly voluntary and Beckham is well within his rights to stay away.
(This story was edited on Friday, May 26, 2017 at 8:09 am to correct the fact that Beckham was not the only Giant to miss OTAs. Olivier Vernon missed all three sessions while Owa Odighizuwa missed one.)
But, with the way the Giants season ended in the playoffs in Green Bay, with all the negative publicity that Beckham received for his performance and his immature outbursts on the sidelines last season and with the story of the Miami boat trip that preceded Big Blue’s loss to the Packers still fresh in the minds of the team’s fans, you would think that Beckham would make an appearance at the Giants training camp complex in East Rutherford.
His actions in this case don’t make Beckham a bad guy. Just a tone-deaf guy. Beckham has decided that hanging with Iggy Azalea is more important than hanging with his teammates. That is not a bad reason for an excuse, just a poorly-timed one. He is an all-world talent but, given last season’s circumstances, everyone is watching to see whether Beckham has an all-world attitude. Going to the OTAs would go a long way to proving that Beckham gets it, that he’s growing up.
The Giants will have seven more OTAs between now and June 9th so there’s plenty of time for Beckham to get back in touch with his teammates (none of whom have publicly–or even anonymously–complained about his absence by the way).
What this is really all about is putting the cart before the horse.
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has NO problem living large. Wherever he goes, the big guy is having fun whether it’s on a party bus, showing up at WWE events or making videos. BUT, the fun comes with rings. Two of them in fact so fans don’t mind. Gronkowski has been a part of two Super Bowl championship teams in New England (okay, he was sidelined with an injury in Super Bowl LI, but you get the point). As long an athlete performs on the field then it doesn’t matter much if he shows up at voluntary activities.
But Beckham’s performance hasn’t been up to expectations lately. Until it does, there will always be questions about where his priorities lay.
photos: espn.com (Odell Beckham, Jr.); ftw.usatoday.com (Giants boat); lifeandstylemag.com (Iggy Azalea)