Hey Odell… please shut up.
Your comments the last few days have been, shall we say, missing the mark.
I understand you’re talented. I get it, you score a lot of touchdowns. I totally am not surprised that you want to be the highest paid player in the NFL.
But, dude. Some of these quotes? You need to realize who is going to hear these comments. More importantly, you need to realize how these comments are going to land with your fans.
He recently told the Huffington Post: “I think that we should make more money, personally.” The comment came during an interview in which he pointed out that pro baseball, hockey and basketball players earn more on average than NFL guys despite the large disparity in injuries due to violent, physical contact.
That is, in fact, all true. There is no disputing that fact. He also added that he wanted to be the highest paid NFL-er.
Again, I have no problem with that.
But, today, when chatting with NYC media, he said this:
“There are people in the NFL who deserve that”, talking about making absurd NBA-type salaries. “We put ourselves through a lot. We deserve it.”
That’s where I chime in with a resounding, “shut up”.
(FYI, this is Beckham's fourth year of pro football for the New York Giants. His rookie deal guaranteed him $10.4 million over the first four years.)
First of all, you only “deserve” what you can negotiate in life. Your agent will take care of that for you. Secondly, nobody “deserves” $10, $20, $30, $40 million per year to play football. Oh, you’ll get it because collectively we’re entertainment gluttons who are starved for football in this country. We bet on it. We buy 80-inch televisions so we can scream at it. We live-and-die with Sunday’s results. Monday is ruined (for a lot of people) if Sunday doesn’t bring a victory.
But, that doesn’t mean you “deserve” anything.
NFL ticket prices skyrocket each year. Season-tickets are unaffordable for most “Average Joes”. The game experience is becoming increasingly more corporate. I’d imagine the Maryland father of three teenage boys, who works hard as a middle school teacher, can’t swing a $1,000 Sunday to get his boys tickets, food, shirts and hats at the stadium on top of parking in Baltimore to see the Ravens play the Jets in Week 4. It’s unrealistic to expect that father to hear your “we deserve more money” comments and not roll his eyes in a combination of disgust and disappointment.
A Social Security Administration report says “the national average wage index for 2015 is $48,098.63. Personally, I was surprised to read that it was THAT high. You think there are any firefighters out there who love the NFL? They earn about 48-grand per year in most parts of the county.
Electricians? $20 an hour.
Police officers? About $50,000 a year.
Teachers? MAYBE $40k.
The average adult in this country would need about 50 years to earn the guaranteed cash Odell earns in just 16 Sundays. And remember, he’s not even one of the highest paid guys yet. Multiply that annual American’s salary by 45 years, the amount of time most people will work in a lifetime, and that’s $2.25 million.
Oh! That’s still less than Odell’s guaranteed rookie deal money over a 16-week season.
Even for the veteran player’s minimum salary in the NFL, which is about $400,000 per season, most Americans just cannot relate to that kind of wealth in their bank accounts.
I get it. You want to be rightly compensated for being incredible at what you do on the field. I’m all for that. You should get paid well. I think everyone should earn as much money as they can so that they can in turn become as big of a blessing to their friends and family as possible. But, if you’re trying to convince the rest of the country, your fans, that you don’t get enough money for playing a game that many of those same fans would trade their left arm to play for just one weekend, it’s going to be tough.
You want more money? Talk to your agent about it. GET PAID… but don’t do it in public where the die-hard Dolphins fan working two jobs just to by pencils and paper for his daughter’s first grade class has to hear it. It won’t relate. It won’t connect. It will make you sound like an ungrateful punk.
Don’t worry, Odell, Your $18 million per year is coming when it’s time for your next contract. My advice for now? Enjoy the spoils of your freak athleticism and fame now. Someday, those will all be over and you may need a regular-paying job like everyone else.