Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison on the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Philadelphia.
Minnesota Vikings linebacker Alexander Mattison said he received racist messages after the team’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football.
Matteson shared two screenshots of the messages on Instagram on Friday, saying he had received more than 60 “disgustingly disrespectful messages.” Both screenshots contained racial slurs and told Matteson to kill himself.
“Y’all can come at me all you want about fantasy and ‘you suck’ blah blah blah,” Matteson wrote on Instagram. “I really don’t care that much. But this shit is unacceptable. …Really think about what you’re saying and how it could impact someone. And under the helmet I’m a human being.. father.. son. This is sick.”
The screenshots were later deleted from his account.
National Football League and Vikings Both issued statements on social media to support Matteson.
“We are tired of the hate and racist insults directed towards Alexander Mattison after last night’s game,” the Vikings said He said in the statement.
“There is simply no room for racist words or actions in sport or society. Vikings will continue the fight to eradicate hate, and to educate and foster a diverse, just and inclusive society that respects and values our unique backgrounds. “We stand with Alexander and all players who, unfortunately, suffer from this type of ignorant and biased behavior, and we ask our fans to continue the fight to eradicate racism.”
The NFL added that it “strongly condemns” the racist comments, calling the behavior “completely unacceptable in the NFL or anywhere else.”
“We stand firmly with Alexander and remind fans to remember the humanity of all players and celebrate their contributions to the game we all love,” the league said.
C.J. Laboy, agent of Matteson, Posted on social media in support of his client, saying he was “proud” of him for participating.
“These types of messages arrive in these players’ inboxes all the time. This kind of hate and hatred has no place in our society. As disgusting as this is, I’m proud of @AlexMattison22 for sharing it,” Laboy said.
Additionally, Laboy told CNN in a statement: “We fully support Alexander, his family and what he is dealing with privately. There is no place in this world for this kind of vitriol. But these types of comments are not uncommon for African American athletes. They’ve been dealing with this shit their whole lives and certainly experience it more than anyone realizes or cares to admit. Not just from the power of Twitter, but also from the sidelines.
“Universities, stadiums and teams should ban anyone who uses such language for life. There is no place in our world for this disgusting behavior, and certainly no place in sports,” Laboy said.
The 25-year-old Mattison rushed for 28 yards and lost a fumble in the first quarter during Thursday’s 34-28 loss.
Mattison was drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Vikings out of Boise State. Currently, in his fifth season, Mattison has rushed for 1,732 yards and 11 touchdowns in his career. He was named the starter this season after backing up Dalvin Cook who left for the New York Jets last season.
The Vikings’ next game will be on September 24 when the team hosts the Los Angeles Chargers.
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