"I tell people this all the time: I really feel like a zoo animal. Like that's where life's gone for me."
LeBron James' new HBO show "The Shop" premiered last night with a star-studded lineup of guests including Snoop Dogg, Draymond Green, Candace Parker and Odell Beckham Jr. among others. During their discussion, LeBron spoke about how maintaining a positive public profile is twice as hard for black athletes in comparison to white athletes.
To that point, Beckham Jr. recalled specific instances of his interactions with fans and how he is often left feeling "like a zoo animal" when he is approached in public. The New York Giants' star wide receiver, who just recently inked the richest contract at his position, tells LeBron and co:
“I had it happen the other day. I didn’t want to take a picture. Like, I’m like I’m really in a rush, I’ve got to go. I get on Twitter, it’s like, oh, yeah, I’m a Giant season ticket-holder for thirty years. I’m like, ‘first of all, you’re twenty something.’
“And then, it’s like, oh, he’s an asshole, he didn’t want to take a picture. It’s like…
"I tell people this all the time: I really feel like a zoo animal. Like that's where life's gone for me," Beckham said. "You know, you used to take your kids to the zoo and we used to be like, you know, I want to see the lions or let's go see the lions. And you go out there, and the lions are laid out. You know what I mean? And it's like, why aren't they doing lion stuff, you know what I mean? Like I've got people who call out, 'Odell! Dance!' Like, I'm a show monkey or something. Like I'm a puppet, you know what I mean? And it's like to me, that doesn't feel good; but it's like, damn, that's what life became."
According to Sports Illustrated, LeBron added, "I'm talking about the phone is on," James explains. "We're like, ‘Yo, get that f---- phone out of my face. I'm with my family.’ If we're out with our family, and we say that s---, and somebody posts it, and if Aaron Rodgers or one of those guys say that s---, and they post it, somebody's going to be like, ‘Hey you guys should respect Aaron Rodgers.’"