Adam Thielen has come out of nowhere to become an absolute star wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings.
Okay, so he didn’t actually come out of nowhere — he’s been with the Vikings since 2014 and he notched 967 yards and five touchdowns last season for Minnesota — but for an undrafted free agent from Minnesota State, Thielen has been quite the story this season.
Through 11 games in 2017-18, he’s caught 70 passes for 1,005 yards and three touchdowns, and he still has five games left in this regular season.
Thielen has been a star for Minnesota and he’s one of the blossoming stars in the NFL. His story is one of rags to riches, from small school college to practice squad to budding NFL superstar.
But it hasn’t been all roses for Thielen, who seems about as humble as they come, at least according to recent B/R Mag feature on him done by Tyler Dunne. In fact, Thielen and his wife, Caitlin, revealed that the wideout has received death threats at times.
Shockingly, so has his young son:
Here’s the excerpt:
But Thielen refuses to talk about the big picture like that. He’ll stay day to day. Because as his celebrity grows, Thielen also knows the exposure can backfire.
Caitlin turns away from the eggs.
“We get death threats,” she says.
When he opened up Twitter after his late fumble in a 17-15 loss to Dallas last year, it wasn’t pretty.
“After the game,” Adam says, “I got death threats.”
“Asher got death threats,” Caitlin adds.
Anger sweeps over her face, and Adam shakes his head. Their son, not even two months old at the time, was the target of Twitter trolls. Neither parent pays much attention to the noise now.
“That’s the thing about this league,” Adam says. “Everybody loves you one week, and the next week they hate you. That’s why you just have to stay in your own zone.”
For Thielen, despite his budding celebrity, it appears that his “zone” is with his family. His “zone” is putting in the work and maintaining his true underdog mentality, no matter how much his star rises in the NFL landscape.
Thielen is far from the only NFL player who has been harassed online for the game of football. Even more, unfortunately, his son is far from the only family member of a player who has been harassed as well.
It’s one of the ugly underbellies of both social media and sports, and stories like this reflect the fact that even those who try to avoid the spotlight — and especially the negative spotlight — can still be caught up in the undercurrents of the despicable side of American pop, and social media culture.