Over the weekend, a video was released of Odell Beckham. It shows him in bed, with an unidentified lady, holding what was likely a marijuana cigarette and an unknown “white substance”.
It’s since been widely publicized. The local and national media has jumped all over the story. Some Giants fans are calling for Odell to be traded. “He’s too much of a headache! We can’t keep him around!”
But, my question is this: Why do people care about athletes’ off-field antics, but when it comes to other entertainers, they couldn’t care less?
For example, I’m sure tons of Giants’ fans love Guns N’ Roses. Yet, Slash was a heavy drug and alcohol abuser, and Axl Rose was accused of domestic abuse on multiple occasions.
Nevertheless, they still love their music.
And look, I’m not trying to be the morality police. I accept you can look past people’s vices, while appreciating their art. I’m not saying you can’t like Guns N’ Roses.
What I am saying is this: Why is Odell held to a different standard?
In the end, like Axl Rose and Slash, he’s merely an entertainer. He’s not the Pope. He doesn’t pretend to be some holistic person.
He’s just blessed with an amazing talent, like a talented musician.
But for some reason, athletes face wide scrutiny, and are looked at for moral guidance. Meanwhile musicians, and for that matter, actors, aren’t.
No one cared when Robert Downey Jr. was abusing drugs. Philip Seymour Hoffman struggled with substance abuse problems for a long time. It ultimately caused his untimely, premature death.
But people knew this was the case for decades and still flocked to see his movies. They didn’t care he engaged in illicit behavior.
From his teenage years, Charlie Sheen has abused drugs. He starred in the most popular show on television for nearly 10-years. No one cared until he started yapping about having tiger-blood.
Don’t kids look-up to actors too?
And, in all honesty, musicians’ lyrics shape young people far more than athletes.
When I was 12-years old, kids listened to artists like Lil Wayne and 50 Cent. Their lyrics aren’t exactly PG-level content.
What’s more formative? Playing a Lil Wayne song on repeat, hearing lyrics glamorizing drug use, over-and-over? Or a seven-second video of Odell Beckham with what looks like weed?
Obviously it’s the repetition of Lil Wayne lyrics.
And again, I’m not saying kids should be banned from listening to Lil Wayne, or rap in general. You can listen to music, and appreciate it, without acting on what is being said.
Just like you can play video games without becoming violent in real life.
My point is, musicians’ lyrics are far more formative than the actions of athletes. Yet, no one calls for them to be banned from making albums.
Sure, some parents can prevent their kids from downloading the music to their phone. But in today’s technological age, if a kid wants to hear the latest Migos song glorifying drug use, they’ll find a method of doing it.
There’s really nothing you can do.
Yet, no one calls for this music to stop being made. And rightfully so. In the end, kids shouldn’t be looking at musicians for morality.
Yet, a seven-second video of Odell surfaces, and Giants’ fans want him run out of town.
“He’s setting a bad example for kids!”
Oh…..And Post Malone isn’t?
His song, “Rockstar”, opens with, “Ayy, I’ve been f******’ ho*s and poppin’ pillies
Man, I feel just like a rockstar.”
It’s currently 8th on the Billboard Top-100.
Kids are just as likely to idolize a wildly popular musician like Post Malone, as they are Odell Beckham. Yet, no one calls for Malone’s music to be pulled off the shelves. And, again, rightfully so.
Am I happy about Odell’s actions? No.
He should be making better decisions in his life. Not for the sake of being a role model, but to better himself and his career.
Tom Brady is playing at 41, because the least healthy thing he does, is eat avocado ice cream. Odell needs to understand that engaging in this behavior only damages himself.
Additionally, Odell, like Johnny Manziel, should choose his friends more wisely. Anyone willing to release that video, isn’t a true friend.
Odell should clean up his act, for the betterment of himself, his career, and his family.
But do I think he needs to be traded or cut? No.
If his on-field performance continues to be great, then I don’t care. I’ll look elsewhere for my morality.
Odell’s not a perfect person. But neither is Axl Rose, Slash, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Post Malone, or Robert Downey Jr.
Why do we hold Odell to a different standard?
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