NFL Player Slams Racist Messages: 'This Is Sick'

Minnesota Vikings RB Alexander Mattison was hit with 'disgusting' comments after loss to Eagles
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2023 10:45 AM CDT
After Game Loss, NFL Player Gets Hit With Racist Messages
Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) is seen during an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

The Minnesota Vikings didn't have a great game Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles, losing to the East Coast team 34-28, but the night proved even worse for Vikings running back Alexander Mattison, a Black player who says he received a series of racist messages and other disturbing comments after the game, including calls for him to take his own life, report the AP and USA Today. "I hope the 60+ people who decided to come at me with disgustingly disrespectful messages tonight ... really reflect on WTF you say and how it could truly affect someone under my helmet," Mattison wrote in an Instagram story. "I am a human, a father, a son. This is sick."

"Y'all can come at me all you want about fantasy and 'you suck' blah blah blah," Mattison, who ran for 28 yards and lost a fumble during the first quarter of Thursday's game, wrote on Instagram, per ESPN. "I really could care less. But this s--- is unacceptable." The NFL Players Association rallied to Mattison's side, calling out the "disgusting behavior and messages," and advising other players to contact them if they needed help "on filtering their inboxes." Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell said he'd spoken with Mattison on Friday to check in on him.

"I know this is not just an isolated incident just from last night for Alex and other professional athletes alike," O'Connell said, per ESPN. "I just don't see that there's any place for it. Racism has no place." The Vikings put out an official statement saying they were "sickened" by the fans' actions, noting that "the Vikings will continue to fight to eliminate hate" and "stand with Alexander and all players who, unfortunately, experience this type of ignorant and prejudicial behavior." The National Football League said in its own statement: "Such hateful behavior is completely unacceptable in the NFL or anywhere else," calling on fans "to remember the humanity of all players." (More NFL stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.