The NFL’s public shift on the Black Lives Matter movement that had commissioner Roger Goodell condemning racism and admitting wrongdoing actually started with an Instagram DM.
“Hey Mike,” it began.
Bryndon Minter wasn’t sure Saints receiver Michael Thomas would even read the message. He knew it could get him fired. He continued anyway.
“Want to help you create content to be heard around the league,” Minter wrote. “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.
“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!”
It took 15 minutes for Thomas to write back and some 24 hours later, he and other Black NFL players published the below powerful video.
Goodell would eventually go to his basement and drop an equally powerful message as well.
“We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people,” Goodell said, just as the players had demanded. “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.”
Minter admits he thought he’d be fired for the act, but his bosses actually approved for it to go up when he spoke to them about it. Players published the video the next morning.