“When I seen that for the first time after breaking my ankle, like I thought about not playing no more, like this is not really it for me because they’ve ruined the game of football for me a little bit”
By Cameron Hogwood
Last Updated: 15/07/20 6:06pm
Odell Beckham Jr has revealed he battled mental health issues after his injury-stricken 2017 season with the New York Giants.
The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver burst onto the scene as the star of New York after being selected in the first round of the 2014 Draft.
He put up double-figure touchdown catches and at least 1,300 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons, before being limited to just 25 catches for 302 yards and three touchdowns in four games in 2017 due to injury.
Beckham fractured his left ankle in Week Five against the Los Angeles Chargers and missed the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery. Between his injury, the criticism he was getting and what was proving a torrid year for the 3-13 Giants, retirement came into consideration for Beckham.
The 27-year-old recently joined newly-signed New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley and retired former Giants team-mate Victor Cruz to discuss a range of topics from the coronavirus pandemic to the Black Lives Matter movement on his YouTube channel.
“I said this in college, I said, ‘I fear the day that they make this game a business and not what I love,'” Beckham explained. “And when I seen that for the first time after breaking my ankle, like I thought about not playing no more, like this is not really it for me because they’ve ruined the game of football for me a little bit.
“I struggled to deal with that. Depression, mental health issues, being in New York, not really liking it.”
“When I be on the sideline and that little kid is, ‘Do the whip, dance,’ like that is what fuelled me. That’s what fuelled me.”
The Cleveland Browns receiver also explained the return of the distinctive blonde hair seen at the height of his Giants career as he focuses on an improved 2020.
Beckham enters the new season on the back of an injury-hit debut year with the 6-10 Browns, which was followed up by surgery to repair a hernia this offseason.
He managed just 74 catches for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns as Cleveland struggled to build any kind of sustained momentum on offense.
Upon being asked about his mentality heading into the coming season, Beckham removed his hat to display his blonde locks.
“This is how I feel,” Beckham said. “I’m tired of playing your game. Like me and Cam talk about, that humble s***, when you are inside, like, we are humble men, but they’ve taken that humbleness as a weakness and they s*** on us.
“It’s crazy to me, because when you’re up and you’re talking, they hate it. And for me this year, I’m trying to kill. Like, that’s it.
“I want the same opportunities as other receivers in the league when they’re getting 2,000 targets, ending up with 150 catches. I want to be in a position to succeed.
“There were years where I was putting numbers up and all they wanted to do was talk about the b*******. Then the year where I get hurt and I still have 1,000 yards they want to talk about how you aren’t the same player.
“That’s why the blonde is back. There’s nothing you can tell me.”
Don’t forget to follow us on skysports.com/nfl, our Twitter account @SkySportsNFL & Sky Sports – on the go! Available to download now on – iPhone & iPad and Android
Source : Sky Sports