On Friday night, we mentioned that an NFL employee helped create the powerful video that emerged on Thursday night, and that prompted the league to capitulate (mostly) to the players’ very specific demands. As it turns out, the NFL employee wasn’t simply doing the players a favor. The NFL employee spearheaded the project.
“I decided, ‘Hey, I’m just going to go rogue here. If I can get one player to buy in, we’ll take a chance at this and see what can happen,’” video producer Bryndon Minter told Jourdan Rodrigue and Lindsay Jones of TheAthletic.com, a decision Minter made after deciding that the NFL wasn’t doing enough in response to the murder of George Floyd.
Minter understood the potential consequences.
“I was at peace the whole time,” Minter told TheAthletic.com regarding the possibility of getting fired for it. “I think if I wasn’t at peace to lose my job, I wouldn’t have wanted to go out on a limb like that. . . . I was at peace, I still am at peace.”
Minter’s frustration grew throughout the week, following the issuance of an NFL statement that was widely criticized for stating nothing and an understanding in league circles that management-level employees with the league planned to continue to simply post game highlights on social media, even as protests grew and grew.
“It was incredibly inappropriate,” Minter told TheAthletic.com. “As of Monday night, people thought that was a good move. And that pissed me off so much. . . . When the league, and company we work for, doesn’t simply come out and condemn racism — as simple as that — people start to morally have issues with that.”
Minter recruited Saints receiver Michael Thomas on Wednesday night, reaching him via Instagram. Thomas accepted quickly, suggesting that they persuade “top guys in the league” to contribute. Thomas contacted star players, he got them involved, and they began sending in videos of themselves reading a script drafted by Thomas, Minter, and another NFL employee.
And so Minter took the various videos, edited them into a single 70-second clip, informed a member of management at the NFL that it was coming, and pressed the button.
So what will happen to Minter now?
“We’re proud of him, and his work,” NFL Brian McCarthy told TheAthletic.com.
We all should be proud of the courage that Minter showed, along with the ingenuity and initiative. Michael Thomas deserves credit, too, for recognizing immediately the potential twimpact of the video, for lining up so many of his peers to participate, and for basically (as TheAthletic.com used the term) serving as executive producer for the project.