Thu, 28 Sep 2023

Vikings RB Alexander Mattison a target of hate speech

Field Level Media
16 Sep 2023, 06:05 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

The NFL, NFLPA and the Vikings issued statements Friday condemning the online hate speech directed at Minnesota running back Alexander Mattison after Thursday night's loss in Philadelphia.

Mattison shared some of the revolting and vulgar messages sent to him on Instagram, which included racial slurs and a suggestion that he take his own life.

"This is not ok," Mattison wrote in text superimposed over the messages. "Y'all can come at me all you want about fantasy and 'You suck,' blah blah blah ... but this s--- is unacceptable... Under my helmet I am a human, a father, a son. This is sick."

Mattison, 25, rushed eight times for 28 yards and caught three passes for 11 yards in the 34-28 loss to the Eagles. He also lost a fumble, one of four turnovers for the 0-2 Vikings.

Mattison is in his fifth season with Minnesota, but his first as the full-time starter following the offseason departure of Dalvin Cook.

"We are sickened by the hatred and racial slurs directed toward Alexander Mattison following last night's game," read the Vikings' 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 league offered a similar rebuke.

"Such hateful behavior is completely unacceptable in the NFL or anywhere else," the NFL wrote. "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 players association offered to provide players with information about how to filter their inboxes.

"We're not going to share the images of the disgusting behavior and messages that [Mattison] was subject to last night, but we will call out and stand against this type of hate," the NFLPA wrote.

A third-round pick by Minnesota in 2019, Mattison has rushed for 1,732 yards and 11 touchdowns and caught 76 passes for 547 yards and four scores in 61 games (eight starts).

--Field Level Media

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