“Everybody look at me! What the hell are you looking at!?!”
Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has become the NFL’s current king of the media dichotomy, reveling in (and profiting from) celebrity while reserving the right to complain about the enhanced attention that goes with the notoriety territory. Via Deadspin, Beckham wore cleats to Tuesday’s minicamp practice naming several media outlets (not the one he blocked on Twitter) with “SHHHHHHHHHHH!” in red letters.
The message came on the same day Beckham met with reporters and claimed that he didn’t boycott voluntary offseason workouts due to his contract.
“I’ve seen the whole ‘holdout’ and all that stuff and I’ve never seen it work, so that was never in my mind to [say] ‘I’m not gonna go to OTAs to get a new contract,'” Beckham said. “I don’t think that really proves a point in my opinion. I was really just out there really taking that time for myself to reflect on life and value what’s really, really important. Like I said, to grow and mature, like I said. You should be growing each and every year, each and every day you should be growing.”
He’s right, but why not say (or at least leak) the reason for staying away? Beckham instead allowed the situation to become a mystery and, in turn, a distraction.
What he did say (or at least what he did do) was retweet a message suggesting he was gone due to his contract. He also retweeted other messages suggesting defiance of his coach. When asked about those actions on Tuesday, Beckham opted to be vague.
“The retweet really could mean anything, though,” he said. “Social media must be kind of new. A retweet of a three-minute conversation, it could’ve been the first 15 seconds, it could’ve been the last 15 seconds. It could’ve been the whole thing. It’s kind of something that you take and you try and look for more information than it really has.”
He’s right, but why not say what he meant in retweeting the messages? Why otherwise opt for silence unless he hoped the silence would enhance the sense of mystery and in turn the desire to pay attention to a guy who both wants the attention and the ability to object to it?