NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. doesn't believe coronavirus — which has killed more than 222,000 Americans — can affect him due to what he called a "mutual respect" between himself and the virus.
The Cleveland Browns wide receiver made the controversial comment this week after missing two practices due to an illness that wasn't coronavirus-related, CBS Sports reported.
"Not in an arrogant way," Beckham Jr. said when asked about his concerns about the virus, as reported by USA Today. "I don't think COVID can get to me. I don't think it's going to enter this body."
"I don't want no parts of it, it don't want no parts of me," he added. "It's a mutual respect."
According to a New York Times database, an estimated 5,149 people have died from the virus just in Ohio, where the Browns play.
Beckham Jr.'s comments were widely criticized on social media, where people correctly pointed out that the virus does not discriminate about who it infects.
"That's what my brother and his wife thought, too," Twitter user Ray Hawkins wrote, in part, in response to Beckham's comments. "Now they're both quarantining for 14 days having tested positive, as has their two best friends."
Coronavirus has been shown to affect people differently, and it's largely regarded that people over the age of 65 and those with preexisting conditions are more likely to experience severe symptoms.
While the NBA finished its season without a single coronavirus case after going into hiatus in March, the NFL has struggled to keep the virus from spreading among its teams.
The NFL recently announced eight players tested positive for the virus between the week of October 11 to 17. Eleven staff members in the league also tested positive during the same time span.
Earlier this month, the NFL has to postpone a series of games after nearly two dozen members of the Tennesee Titans franchise contracted coronavirus, according to the New York Times. At least two members of the New England Patriots have also tested positive in the past few weeks.
The Browns are currently 4-2 in the AFC North, and will play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
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