CLEVELAND — After he was pulled from the final quarter of the Cleveland Browns' 38-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, it wasn't tough to tell that Odell Beckham Jr. was upset.
As captured by the game's broadcast, the star wide receiver could be seen throwing his helmet on the ground and arguing with fans in the stands at Heinz Field. Asked about his actions on Wednesday, Beckham explained why he was so upset, stating that he would have preferred to stay in the game despite its lopsided score.
“I am p---ed. At this point, I really do not care to keep trying to make myself look like a good guy to the world and all that because I am who I am," Beckham said. "I got pulled out of the game. The coach said this was the best decision. It is eight minutes left, and for me, I would rather take my a-- whooping like a man. I would rather take my win the same way. I want to be out there until the last whistle competing."
In addition to his sideline outburst, Beckham received criticism for taking his shoes off once he had been sidelined from the game. But while many on social media took the 3-time Pro Bowl wide receiver's footwear removal as a sign of submission, Beckham explained he was merely taking care of his body, as he had suffered a turf toe injury in the Browns' Week 4 win over the Dallas Cowboys and didn't want to continue wearing cleats if he wasn't going to put them to use.
But regardless of the reasoning or rationale behind his outburst, it seemed clear on Wednesday that Beckham was frustrated with having his actions picked apart. Drawing an apparent comparison between himself and Tampa Bay Buccanneers quarterback Tom Brady, the 2014 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year noted that there are multiple ways that passion can be perceived on a football field.
"I am kind of over trying to play the right thing because I love him to death, but there are people who have plenty of rings and are considered the GOAT [greatest of all time], and they do things on the sideline and other people do things on the sideline and they get away with it, and that is classified as passionate because they may have something behind their legacy or whatever it is," Beckham said.
"I do not care if I have zero rings, 12 rings or 20 rings, I love this game of football and I am not going to keep dulling myself for the world to feel like I am mature or whatever word you would like to throw around it," he continued. "I am always going to be me. Tired of losing. Tired of losing to good teams. Just ultimately want to win. One day, when it is all said and done, we will all clearly see that but in the midst and in the meantime while we are in it. I am sure we will not so I will just keep pushing forward and it is not going to bother me anymore."