Odell Beckham Jr. recently made some decidedly skeptical comments about the NFL’s intention to hold the 2020 season as scheduled and planned, and Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry has since reacted to the wide receiver’s provocative remarks.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Beckham all but stated he’s against the NFL holding its season amid the ongoing and worsening coronavirus pandemic. In response to Beckham’s comments Tuesday, Berry warned the enigmatic wideout about the power of his words.
“Having a player of Odell’s stature, obviously, he gets a lot of attention. We’ve had plenty of dialogue with Odell,’’ Berry said, as shared by Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “We feel really good about everything the league and NFLPA have agreed upon.” He said Odell has been really engaged and is “focused on having a great year.”
The notion that Berry was quickly asked for a reaction to Beckham’s comments hardly comes as a surprise given what the wide receiver had to say about the situation.
“We’re not ready for football season. So why are we trying to push forward? It’s obviously for their money,” Beckham told The Wall Street Journal. “And that bothers me because there’s always been this—and I hate saying it like that—but the owners’ [attitude is], Oh we own you guys, and just kind of that unfairness going on that they don’t see us as human. I just feel like the season shouldn’t happen and I’m prepared for it to not happen and I wouldn’t mind not having it.”
The NFL continues to adjust and refine its protocols and procedures in an effort to best avoid team- or league-wide COVID-19 outbreaks. With training camps already underway and the 2020 season kicking off on Sept. 10, the league is running out of time to establish procedures that ensure everything possible is done to protect the players, coaching staffs and necessary personnel from coronavirus transmission.
That said, Beckham’s reservations about the 2020 campaign are understandable, and his comments on the subject are likely representative of many players who have not yet opted out of playing this season.
On that subject, as of Monday night, 45 players have opted out thus far. Thursday marks the league-mandated deadline to do so, so there’s a chance that number will rise in the coming days, perhaps by a significant margin.