A ‘Rogue’ NFL Employee Helped The League’s Stars Make Their Black Lives Matter Video

The NFL surprised everyone when the league, which has frequently attempted to avoid anything that could be seen as political, put out a video statement from Roger Goodell supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. Ever since Colin Kaepernick began silently protesting police brutality during the national anthem, the league has pushed back against players using their platform on the field to make statements — with Kaepernick finding himself out of the league for making a stand.

With the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, multiple players have spoken out since in an effort to make their voices heard. Many have pushed their organizations to put out statements and to stand with them, while also being unafraid to confront those in the league like Drew Brees that have continued to misconstrue the point of those protests.

As teams across the league did so, the NFL put out its own statement that lacked the words the NFL’s black players were looking for and led to backlash from those some players. While many were demanding a stronger message from the NFL, a different video posted by a number of stars across the league came out pushing the NFL to make a stronger statement.

It turns out that the way that video came to be was secretly organized by a member of the NFL social team. A rogue member of the league, Bryan Minter, secretly contacted Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints. His message was that he wanted to put pressure on the league to make a statement. Via Yahoo! Sports.

“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!”

After Minter received interest from Thomas and other NFL players he got to work on putting the video together. Within 24 hours the video was out there and it was now up to the NFL to decide how they wanted to respond. By Friday they had the video of Goodell giving the players their support. The pressure the players and Minter wanted to put on the league had worked.

Minter later met with NFL execs for a meeting expecting to lose his job. Instead, he had what he described as a “productive conversation” and believes that progress is on the way.

“It’s clear, at least to me, that they’re trying to get on the right path, both internally and externally. Both with the people who root for the teams on Sunday and with the employees, especially employees of color, who make this league run. Because you can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth. You can’t have a league that’s 70 percent black and have no stance when it comes to this. … So the real lesson here is that there’s a human side to this league that I hope, and I pray, we embrace going forward.

“I think it’s a turning point,” he concludes. “I think it’s a turning point.”

While many are hopeful with the NFL’s words we also know that actions speak louder. Until their actions meet their words there is going to be a healthy amount of skepticism, but we can surely expect to find out later this year as players have made it clear they will once again bring peaceful protests to the field.