Odell Beckham Likens Black Athlete Experience to That of a “Zoo Animal”
Beckham was a guest on LeBron James' new HBO show "The Shop."
During a discussion about the challenges of being a black athlete in America on the new HBO show “The Shop,” Odell Beckham Jr. compared his experience to that of a “zoo animal.”
LeBron James, who is producing and hosting the show, began the discussion by saying black athletes are thought of differently for engaging in the same actions as their white counterparts.
The example James gave was how he would be thought of for declining a fan’s photo request versus how a white athlete like Aaron Rodgers would be thought of for doing the same thing.
“I’m talking about the phone is on,” James said. “We’re like, ‘Yo, get that f-cking phone out of my face. I’m with my family.’ If we’re out with our family, and we say that sh-t, and somebody posts it, and if Aaron Rodgers or one of those guys say that sh-t, and they post it, somebody’s going to be like, ‘Hey you guys should respect Aaron Rodgers.’ “
Beckham shared a similar thought when he talked about a recent interaction he had with a fan who wanted a picture of him and he felt compelled to decline.
“I really feel like a zoo animal,” Beckham said. “Like that’s where life’s gone for me. You know, you used to take your kids to the zoo and we used to be like, You know, I want to see the lions or let’s go see the lions! And you go out there, and the lions are laid out. You know what I mean? And it’s like, Why aren’t they doing lion stuff, you know what I mean? Like, I’ve got people who call out, Odell! Dance! Like, I’m a show punk, a show monkey or something.”
Unfortunately for the New York Giants star, the spotlight on him is only going to get brighter as he just became the richest receiver in history by signing a $95 million contract extension.
Other guests on the show, which debuted last night on HBO, included Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett, Jon Stewart, and Snoop Dogg.
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