In an interview with Lane Florsheim of the Wall Street Journal, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said he believes the season is only being held so that owners can make money.
“Obviously with everything that’s going on, it doesn’t make sense why we’re trying to do this,” OBJ said. “I can understand basketball was already in the playoffs. Five-on-five basketball in an arena is going to be more intense than regular-season games. Hooping is different than playing an eleven-on-eleven contact sport where there’s 80 people in a locker room. We’re not ready for football season. So why are we trying to push forward? It’s obviously for their money. 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.”
Beckham Jr. didn’t indicate whether or not he’d opt out of the season. If he does, he’ll become the first Browns player to do so.
The long list of opt-outs due to the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow and is highlighted by eight New England Patriots players who have decided to sit out the 2020 campaign.
Nate Solder, Devin Funchess, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Damien Williams, C.J. Mosley and Star Lotulelei, among others, also have opted out of the season.
Coronavirus concerns are growing for the NFL with multiple teams in Major League Baseball are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. With a bubble setting essentially impossible for the NFL, the league will need to take even more precautions than the NHL, NBA and MLS once the season begins.