- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 5, 2016

New York Giant Odell Beckham Jr. has asserted himself as one of the NFL’s top wide receivers. But after another game soured with individual clashes, this time with Minnesota Vikings corner Xavier Rhodes, where Beckham received a taunting penalty, Beckham has a confession: He’s not enjoying his job.

“Football is my sanctuary,” Beckham said to ESPN’s Anita Marks. “It’s where I go to escape. It’s where I’m most happy. I’m not having fun anymore.”

Beckham has a weird way of treating his sanctuary and certainly cannot escape on the football field. His constant on-field clashes with corner backs that stick to him like glue do nothing but draw attention to himself. His social media feud and on-field conduct with Washington Redskins’ corner Josh Norman is nothing but a distraction. His tantrum on the sidelines against Washington, punching a kicking net and clearly crying does not scream “sanctuary.”

Beckham blames the media for “tarnishing” his image. But Beckham needs to recognize that it’s his out-of-the-ordinary, negative antics that make the most noise. Because while everyone will talk about Beckham’s second-consecutive week of poor on-field behavior, not many will remember that Beckham shook the hand of every service member following the national anthem.

Beckham owes it to himself to take a deep breath and focus on the things that matter.

The 23-year-old is coming off of his worst game of his career, a 23-yard effort against the Vikings. He hasn’t recorded a single touchdown so far this year, the first time in his career Beckham has gone four games without a score.

Right now, his personal antics are exacerbating his play, and vice versa.

Beckham is an emotional player, and you have to respect that.

But the way Beckham is expressing his frustrations, by taunting his opponents and throwing fits on the sideline, is not a healthy way to channel that emotion.

It’s up to Beckham to figure out to express any sort of frustration in a better way, and that would probably make the game fun again.

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