Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison said he received racist messages following the team’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football.
Mattison shared two screenshots of messages via Instagram on Friday, saying that he received more than 60 “disgustingly disrespectful messages.” Both screenshots contained racial slurs and told Mattison to take his own life.
“Y’all can come at me all you want about fantasy and ‘you suck’ blah blah blah,” Mattison wrote on Instagram. “I really could care less. But this sh*t is unacceptable. … Really reflect on WTF you say and how it could affect someone. Under the helmet, I am a human.. a father.. a son. This is sick.”
The screenshots were later deleted from his account.
The National Football League and the Vikings both issued statements on social media in support of Mattison.
“We are sickened by the hatred and racial slurs directed toward Alexander Mattison following last night’s game,” the Vikings said in the statement.
“There simply is no room for racist words or actions in sports or society. The Vikings will continue to fight to eliminate hate, to educate and to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community that respects and values our unique backgrounds. We stand with Alexander and all players who, unfortunately, experience this type of ignorant and prejudicial behavior, and we ask our fans to continue to fight to eliminate racism.”
The NFL added 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.
CJ LaBoy, Mattison’s agent, posted on social media in support of his client, saying he was “proud” of him for sharing.
“These types of messages hit these players inboxes all the time. This type of hate, vitriol has no place in our society, period. As disgusting as this is, I’m proud of @AlexMattison22 for sharing,” LaBoy said.
“Universities, stadiums, teams should ban anyone that uses such language for life. There’s no place in our world for that disgusting behavior and there’s 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 this past offseason.
The Vikings’ next game is on September 24 when the team hosts the Los Angeles Chargers.