Odell Beckham Jr. Claims NFL Players Should Be Paid More

By Rachel Wold

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has a brilliant career ahead of himself. He’s coming off a tremendous rookie season, earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors and was just named to the Madden 16 cover.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Beckham was asked if there was anything he would change about the NFL. Making sure not to hold back, Beckham had an interesting response:

“I think that we should make more money, personally.”

On the surface, Beckham’s comment seems a bit superficial considering the exorbitant salaries NFL players earn. However, Beckham elaborated on the subject.

“I understand that basketball plays 80-something games, baseball plays this many games, soccer plays that many games, but this is a sport that’s most-watched in America. A sport where there’s more injuries. There’s more collisions,” Beckham said. “It’s not even a full-contact sport, I would call it a full-collision sport. You have people running who can run 20 miles per hour and they’re running downhill to hit you, and you’re running 18 miles per hour. That’s a car wreck.”

Beckham continued:

“It’s just the careers are shorter. There’s injuries that you have after you leave the game, brain injuries, whatever it is, nerve injuries. And it’s just something that I feel as if there’s no way someone who — even if they did their three or four years in the league — should have to worry about money for the rest of their lives.”

In a study performed by Forbes, it was calculated that the average NFL player earned $2 million in 2013. That number is lower than the average player salary in the NHL, NBA and MLB. Additionally, the NFL’s minimum salary in 2014 was $420,000—a number that’s lower than any other major professional sport.

Interestingly, Beckham’s comments come right after a federal judge approved a settlement of lawsuits filed by former players in relation to the NFL’s concussion problems. This settlement could potentially have the league paying out over $1 billion when all is said and done.

While Beckham’s comments might get swept under the rug, he did bring up some good points here. Comparing NFL salaries to what the average American earns makes no sense. Instead, we must look at said salaries in relation to other professional sports. In this, the Giants receiver is not wrong.

Hopefully the league will at least take note of some of the valid points Beckham did bring up in his interview.

Photo: USA Today Sports