According to famed NFL vet Michael Irvin, who has spoken to the Giants wide receiver on the phone several times over the past few days, Odell has been the target of gay slurs. On the series of calls, Odell told Irvin that he was taunted before the Panthers game with baseball bats. He also revealed that the gay slurs are nothing new, as he’s been dealing with taunts every week.
Since the 23-year old has decided to neglect all of the nonsense regarding his sexuality, the rumors have begun to run rampant. Irvin understands why Odell is angry, but he wants him to learn how to control his emotions.
“He deals with it a lot. For some reason, everybody goes after him with gay slurs. He’s a different kind of dude. He has the hairdo out, he’s not the big muscular kind of dude. The ladies all love him. He’s a star. I wonder why people are going in that direction. It blows my mind. I told him he can’t let stuff that people say get to you,” Irvin said.
Irvin hopes that if he were in a similar situation, he could keep his frustration in check.
“I would like to think I could handle it correctly,” he said. “But I can’t promise you that. Really, nobody can. That is why they give you leniency for crimes of passion.”
Giants punter Brad Wing corroborated Odell’s account of being threatened with bats. He reportedly heard Panthers practice squad player Marcus Ball say, “I’ll be the reason you don’t play today…and other days.”
According to Complex, Ball was asked about these comments by reporters to which he oddly retorted, “If I had a dollar for all the ex-girlfriends that had false allegations about me…”
Probably not the best choice of words.
Also, Panthers receiver Josh Norman is known for being a physical dude, which is why Odell can’t see why the attacks this week have been so one-sided. Irvin also reveals that other players around the league are most likely jealous that the star receiver has been getting so much shine, while the Giants haven’t won many games this season.
Despite the personal attacks, Odell has to learn to be more mature and conduct himself professionally while on the field. By getting him frustrated, his opponents are winning.
“The more you react, the more people will try to rattle you,” added Irvin.