You don’t have to be a sports fan to have heard of NFL player Odell Beckham JrThe 23-year-old New York Giants wide receiver has quickly become one of the league’s biggest stars thanks to his insane catches, dance moves and spiked blonde hair.

But off the field and on social media, Beckham is a topic of conversation for reasons other than football.

Beckham is known for his dance moves just as much as his catches. If you follow him on social media, you’ll see Beckham likes to dance a lot. And not just when he’s in the endzone. There’s video of Beckham playfully dancing with friends and basically having the time of his life.

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#PressPlay: #OdellBeckhamJr and his dance routines ??? He said #YasBishDoe

A video posted by The Shade Room (@theshaderoominc) on

There is even a video of Beckham and Trey Songz in the club. Of course everyone blew out it completely out of proportion.

However, this has caused many critics, and you can even call them haters, to speculate about Beckham’s sexuality alleging he’s playing for the other team (pun unintended) and it’s all due because of his dancing. If we were a 23-year-old, rich professional athlete, with a bright future, we’d be dancing, too!

All of this Beckham criticism brought to light bigger issues of masculinity in the Black community.

In a piece posted on Slate.com, Rafi D’Angelo writes how “White men are allowed a greater range of expression before they are automatically considered gay.” He references how the men in the Marvel movies basically flirt with each other and how actor Channing Tatum “vogued” and nobody cared or called him gay.

D’Angelo goes on to write,”We’ve always had to be a little bit stronger, a little bit tougher, and a little more resilient than our White counterparts, and it has made us hypervigilant against any sign of weakness.Since we live in a society where being gay is the ultimate expression of being weak, anything associated with gay men must be avoided at all costs. No dancing, no fashion, no art. Don’t put whipped cream on your drink, because that’s gay. Don’t dye your hair, because that’s gay. Don’t put your arm around your friend, because y’all are gay. Don’t have fun in general, because that’s definitely gay.”

This is all true. But the criticism could point to a larger problem: people are prone to reach for something to complain about when you’re winning.

Beckham is handsome, which we can appreciate, and he’s a player you’d want on your fantasy teams. Oh, and he has rhythm.

In the past year, social media has coined the term, “carefree Black girl” where Black women are documented living life on their own terms and not looking for the acceptance of others. It’s about time we extend this same freedom to Black men who want to express themselves how they want and not have their sexuality attacked!

Photo: ESPN Magazine

Brittney Fennell

Brittney Fennell

Brittney is the Associate Editor of Jawbreaker and a writer who has goals to disrupt culture in ways unseen.

  • Chrially2931 .

    I guess these “haters” are mad. I think it is great he is dancing instead of beating on his girlfriend and dragging her out of an elevator. I guess it is great he is dancing instead of standing trial for murder. I guess it is great he is dancing instead of drinking, robbing, facing bankruptcy after so many years in the NFL and nothing to show for it. I guess it is great he is dancing because there are so many other typical or stereotypical things he could be doing but has chosen to dance to his own beat. Sorry but what the heck is wrong with dancing and this makes him gay? I don’t get it, and if he is, so what. He is gorgeous to me. He is young and the way these athletes celebrate and dance after they score, if that is the case, then they are all gay.