PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - SEPTEMBER 14: Alexander Mattison #2 of the Minnesota Vikings runs the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 14, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Racial Abuse Against Vikings' Alexander Mattison Is a Pattern of Behavior That Needs to Stop

Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison received several vulgar messages littered with racial abuse following Thursday's loss.

Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison had a tough night in his team's 34-28 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night, but it was nothing compared to what happened following the game.

Mattison, who took over as the Vikings' lead back following the departure of Dalvin Cook, had nine carries for 28 yards and lost a fumble. What followed after the game is beyond description.

Fans took to social media with vulgar, racist messages toward Mattison. It wasn't just one or two. Over 60 espoused vulgarity and hate that no adjectives can adequately explain.

(NSFW WARNING: Messages below include vulgar, racist language.)

In one message, Mattison was called stupid, slow and useless, with plenty of racial epithets and four-letter words to go around.

"You stupid ******* [racist slur], learn how to hold onto the ball. You get paid millions and can't do ****. This team is 2-0 with Dalvin Cook. Move your [racist slur] back to Boise and start selling cars or some s*** you slow, useless (racist slur). 

"If you decide that's no for you, kill yourself. God knows yo [racist slur] dumber than **** so you can't do anything with common knowledge."

Mattison captioned that post with one of his own, calling the messages "disgustingly disrespectful" and that they cross the line.

"Y'all can come at me all you about fantasy and, 'you suck' blah blah blah. I really could care less. But this **** is unacceptable," Mattison posted. "[Shake my head] I hope the 60+ people who decided to come at me with disgustingly disrespectful messages tonight in DM's 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."

Another message said, "Hey (racist slur) do you know how to hold onto a gun and pull the trigger I mean give it a try cause you clearly can't hold on to a football which is you're PROFESSIONAL CARRER [sic] so try something new please."

For the record, Mattison was named to the Academic All-Mountain West team three times while playing at Boise State, and posted a 4.8 cumulative GPA in high school. He's anything but dumb and slow, but that's beside the point. Racial attacks on anyone, whether they're an athlete, politician or average Joe, has gotten out of hand.

If social media platforms can arbitrarily ban someone for posting inaccurate information, they can certainly do the same for vulgar posts like these. Freedom of speech is more than a Constitutional right, it's a responsibility. Saying something offensive or downright hateful doesn't exempt you from consequences. The more it's allowed, the worse it will become.

It's not unusual for fans to take their sports too seriously, but this online bullying needs to stop. Instead of concentrating on filling our feeds with ads based on what sites we visit (aka invasion of our privacy), the social platforms need to put more effort into giving these sick bullies the axe.

MORE: The Minnesota Vikings Need to Begin a Full-Fledged Rebuild