At a time when it’s still not clear whether Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. can handle the pressure and stress of playing professional football against the likes of Josh Norman, Beckham apparently can’t handle fair criticism regarding his current failure to participate in offseason workouts.
Beckham has, at some point in the past week or so, blocked the PFT Twitter feed, presumably in retaliation for one or more of the things we’ve written about him. But here’s the thing: We haven’t written or said anything that could be objectively regarded as unfair or inappropriate.
The item that triggered Beckham likely came on Memorial Day Weekend, when I pointed out that Beckham should be criticized not for skipping voluntary drills (he has every right to do so) but for failing to directly explain why he’s not there. He instead had opted for silence and, indirectly, defiance, retweeting messages of support — including one that said “I’m sick of folks acting like star athletes must always do what a coach asks.”
I also pointed out that, by working out out on his own, Beckham risks the kind of injury that would jeopardize his $1.8 million base salary for 2017, and his $8.4 million guaranteed-for-injury-at-work-only option salary for 2018.
The Beckham block was discovered while attempting to scan his Twitter page for any additional passive-aggressive messages, given that he recently confirmed (sort of) the reason for his absence by retweeting a message regarding his desire for a new contract. Despite the past consequences of daring to call him out, I still firmly believe that a player whom the team hopes will grow up should do the adult thing and explain his absence with his own voice, not with someone else’s.
I also believe he’s going to have a harder time than expected dealing with the ever-expanding realties of being a celebrity athlete if the things we’ve said and written are enough to get him to press the “block” button.
Unless he’s simply taking a page from the Ben Roethlisberger playbook and blocking pretty much everyone.