In a wide-ranging interview with GQ writer, Mark Anthony Green, the 26-year-old spoke on the speculation about his sexuality.
Back in 2015, controversy arose after Beckham’s infamous battle with former Carolina Panthers cornerbackJosh Norman, where Panthers players were allegedly using gay slurs on the field against Beckham.
GQ: “There was a period of time when a lot of gossip sites—specifically black gossip sites—would constantly say that you were closeted. They’d call you “excited” in a hot-tub photo with your teammates or simply just say you’re gay. How’d that make you feel?”
Odell Beckham Jr: “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.”
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.”
Odell Beckham Jr: “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.”
He also added that getting criticism from the black community is what makes the rumors even worse.
“I feel like everything is a double standard. You want us to support the black community, and then you go out and bash black people for being happy. So someone can’t be happy, someone can’t be dancing. “Oh, he’s always around guys, he’s never around girls.” I just don’t want you to see what woman I’m with, and I don’t want you in my personal life. I always try to keep my personal life my personal life. I feel like I don’t owe that to anybody.’
In the past, Beckham has been linked to Zendaya Coleman,Khloe Kardashian, Iggy Azalea, Demi Lovato and Amber Rose, who denied they were dating and shut down rumors he’s gay.