Cleveland Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. defended his sexual orientation on Instagram after a shirtless Calvin Klein underwear campaign photo he posted generated an avalanche of comments, some of which suggested he is gay.
The photo, which is part of a larger campaign featuring Diplo, Gigi Hadid, Jacob Elordi, Lay Zhang, and Jelly Lin in ‘real-life’ situations, showed the wide receiver next to what Beckham Jr. joked was a “world class lamp” in his IG caption.
Said OBJ, via Heavy: “Yallll chilllll mann damnnnn! It be a lot of y’all sayin sus and alll the other comments that realllly be a direct reflection of who u are! Im straight! Like beyond it. If I sit here and defend myself y’all gon say im tryna defend myself , if I sit there and say nothin yalll gon say ‘seee he didn’t say anything..’I’m good wit me. Which is dumb straightttt… Period. lol I don’t neeed to say this shxt no mooooo! Half y’all girls in these comments. This the last time ima break this shxt down for y’all. And lastly before I got hit the weight room! Much love to everybody out there! Fellas sorry man, gotta get a (bag) for it!”
In a recent interview, Beckham addressed gay rumors that have followed him for five years. GQ asked Beckham, who is now a receiver for the Cleveland Browns, how it felt for him to constantly be called closeted or ‘excited’ when seen in a hot tub photo with teammates.
Said Beckham: “I’ve never had an opportunity to talk about this. Honestly wasn’t offended. I’ve never once had no problem with anybody who has their own personal life that they live. I have friends who are gay. It was almost more funny to me. I almost messed with them even more. It’s like when someone gives me an ultimatum, I’m usually always going to go to the opposite way of what you want me to go. So when they would say that, I would almost mess with them even more. I have no problem with anyone’s sexual orientation.”
Added GQ: “I feel like posts like that only contribute to homophobia in the black community. The idea that someone must be gay—or that being gay is in any way shameful—because they’re dancing or have blond hair seems so small-minded.”
Replied Beckham: “Or because they’re ‘close with other men.’ Even like little videos where they see me leaned back or something, they’ll say that I’m looking at a guy’s ass. And I’m like, ‘Bro! You don’t even know where my mind is at.’ It was just a lose-lose. They’d see me with a white woman and be like, ‘Why don’t you be with any sisters?’ I have no problem with any race. Love is love. If you’re attracted to somebody, you’re attracted to somebody. There was such a stigma built up, [as though] I don’t like my own women. It’s like, no, I don’t like anybody who annoys me. [laughs]”
In December 2015, rumors began after then New York Giants star receiver got into a series of on-field altercations with Carolina Panthers cornerback Jason Norman culminating in a helmet to helmet clash that would land Beckham with a one-game suspension. According to Beckham and the Giants, the conflict between Beckham and Norman was instigated by Norman who physically threatened Beckham Jr. with a baseball bat and shouted homophobic gay slurs at him before the game began.
After that altercation, speculation exploded about Beckham on gossip sites.