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There’s no real harm in booing a player or a team when they don’t produce. It’s been going on for years, and it’s a mild way of voicing displeasure.

Booing has turned into verbal attacks and even death threats. Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison was on the receiving end of several racial slurs after Thursday night’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. While the comments made to Mattison were racist, ugly, and hurtful, they weren’t anything new to NFL players.

The Alexander Mattison incident triggers memories of what former Packers TE Brandon Bostick went through in 2015

Alexander Mattison will likely admit he didn’t have the greatest game Thursday night in a 34-28 loss to the Eagles. He rushed for 28 yards and lost a fumble. For some Fantasy Football fools, that was enough to warrant racial attacks and more hurtful comments.

Mattison isn’t the first, nor will he be the last, professional athlete to endure hateful comments from social media punks. Former Green Bay Packers tight end Brandon Bostick botched an onside kick in 2015 that would have sealed a victory and sent his team to the Super Bowl. Like Mattison, Bostick was the victim of scores of racial slurs and death threats.

“It was all negativity,” Bostick told Sportscasting in February 2022. “Racist comments, death threats. It brought me to a dark place.”

Bostick was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder in 2020. Mental health was never something Bostick dealt with until “after that play in 2015.” Bostick said he was taking 15-20 pills a day to get by while seeing a therapist and psychologist.

Getting bombarded by racial comments and death threats does damage, and it doesn’t matter who you are. Mattison responded to the haters on his Instagram story.

“Y’all can come at me all you want about fantasy and ‘you suck’ blah blah blah,” he wrote. “I really could care less. But this s*** is unacceptable. SMFH.

“I hope the 60+ people who decided to come at me with disgustingly disrespectful messages tonight in DMs and comments really reflect on WTF you say and how it could truly affect someone. Under my helmet, I am a human, a father, a son. This is sick. SMH.”

The Minnesota Vikings, NFL respond to the racial comments directed at Mattison


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Bostick and Mattison are just two players of many players who have seen first-hand how far “fans” can go. In a statement from the Minnesota Vikings, the team said it is “sickened” by what happened Thursday night.

“We are sickened by the hatred and racial slurs directed toward Alexander Mattison following last night’s game,” the Vikings statement read. “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 also issued its own statement.

“The NFL strongly condemns the racist comments directed towards Alexander Mattison online after last night’s game,” the statement said. “Such hateful behavior is 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.”