Mattison shared several direct messages he received on Instagram after the 34-28 Vikings loss on September 14, several using racial slurs, death threats and other forms of bigotry.
Mattison took a stand against the hateful messages, posting the following caption with screenshots of messages he received.
“Y’all can come at me all you want about fantasy and, ‘you suck’ blah blah blah. I really could care less. But this s*** is unacceptable,” Mattison wrote in a post on his Instagram Story. “I hope the 60+ people who decided to come at me with disgustingly disrespectful messages tonight in [direct messages] 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.”
Mattison rushed for 28 yards on 8 carries and fumbled against the Eagles as part of a poor performance by the team’s running game.
The Vikings released the following statement in response to the messages Mattison received:
We are sickened by the hatred and racial slurs directed toward Alexander Mattison following last night’s game. There is simply 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 ignorance and prejudicial behavior, and we ask our fans to continue to fight to eliminate racism.
Vikings Fumbles Lead to Frustrating Night vs. Eagles
It was a frustrating night for the Vikings facing the defending NFC champion Eagles on the road.
Minnesota fumbled the ball three times in the first half and four times total. In two games, the Vikings (0-2) have seven turnovers and have lost by a combined nine points.
“Clearly, I have to coach it better from a standpoint of something that we talk about every single day. Ball security is a major, major focus in our football philosophy, but clearly I need to do a better job and our staff,” head coach Kevin O’Connell said in a postgame media conference.
The Eagles squandered scoring off three fumbles in the first half, ending those drives with an interception and going 1-for-2 on field goals.
However, Philadelphia ground the Vikings defense down in the second half, dominating time of possession 39:28-20:32.
“Clearly, as much as [the defense] battled, defensively, we just put them on the field way too much, and we have to find a way to right the ship from a ball security standpoint because that is a losing formula no matter how you look at it,” O’Connell said.
“We have to go back and continue to find ways to re-emphasize how important it is when you have the football in your hands playing for the Minnesota Vikings. Like I said, we’re really not giving ourselves clean opportunities to win these games the way that we started. I have to do a better job and we have to continue to emphasize it. There is a lot to be proud of from a standpoint of the guys at the very rarely can you lose the turnover battle four-to-one and have a chance at an onside kick with the chance to win the game.”
Vikings Running Game Suffers With Patchwork O-Line
The Vikings offensive line has been without starting center Garrett Bradbury for the majority of the first two games.
Say what you will about Bradbury as a pass-blocker, but he is adept in the running game and key to the communication and chemistry on the offensive line.
Christian Darrisaw was also hampered with an ankle injury and was ruled out during warmups. Oli Udoh struggled and was eventually knocked out of the game with what O’Connell described as a severe lower leg injury.
Third-string tackle David Quessenberry took his place for the remainder of the game.