Rogue NFL Employee Secretly Helped Start Latest Social Justice Movement: Report
If you’re an NFL fan and have even a cursory interest in social media, you’ve undoubtedly seen a video making the rounds starring various black NFL stars speaking out about the ongoing social justice issues that have rocked America.
“A message on behalf of the nfl” pic.twitter.com/iilDpnZfyV
— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) June 5, 2020
In the viral video, which has been viewed over 1.8 million times, NFL stars speak out about criminal justice reform and police brutality in the wake of George Floyd‘s death.
The list of NFL players in the video is a veritable who’s who of the league’s stardom. The video includes arguably the two best receivers in football, Michael Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins, Super Bowl champions Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Mahomes, and a litany of other stars like Ezekiel Elliott, Jarvis Landry and Stephon Gilmore.
Given the star power involved, the video’s clearly meant to evoke strong emotions about societal issues, and to many people it likely will.
But for those who don’t want too much of the real world seeping into their professional sports, a surprising culprit has emerged.
According to a report from Yahoo Sports, the recent renewal in the league’s social justice dialogue was sparked by an Instagram message from NFL social media employee Bryndon Minter to Thomas.
“Want to help you create content to be heard around the league,” Minter said. “I’m a NFL social employee and am embarrassed by how the league has been silent this week. The NFL hasn’t condemned racism. The NFL hasn’t said that Black Lives Matter.”
Mynter let Thomas know that he wanted to help one of the league’s best players “put pressure on” the NFL: “I want [to] help you put the pressure on. And arm you with a video that expresses YOUR voice and [what] you want from the League. Give me a holler if you’re interested in working together, thanks bro!”
Then, just 24 hours later, the viral video was out in the wild.
Interestingly, this issue was important enough to Mynter and fellow social media employee Nick Toney that the two completely circumvented normal league protocol to make this video happen.
Instead of going through the proper channels, Mynter had reached directly out to Thomas.
By the time Minter finally told his bosses about the unsanctioned video, there was no stopping it. In fact, as Mynter began a Zoom call with his bosses, the video was released.
“And I was ready to lose my job on that Zoom,” Mynter said.
Mynter believed that the star power of the players he enlisted would force Goodell’s hand. Mynter clearly felt that the players were what drive the NFL.
“Without the players, no one gives a s—. Our game is the players, it’s our players’ personalities, it’s our players’ performance, it’s all about them,” Mynter said. “And if they speak up, they have the power.”
The rogue social media employee may very well have been right in his assessment. Just days after the video began circulating on the internet, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell posted a video apologizing for the league’s previous handling of social justice issues.
Goodell added the “#InspireChange” to punctuate the tweet.
We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange pic.twitter.com/ENWQP8A0sv
— NFL (@NFL) June 5, 2020
Whether Goodell had an honest change of heart on the controversial social justice issues or simply felt that there was no way to get the toothpaste back in the tube is impossible to say.
But whatever the case may be, it all appears to have started with a rogue employee who felt his cause was too important to run by his superiors.
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