KC native 'catalyst' behind NFL's video apology

NFL Black Lives Matter video
Posted at 5:31 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 19:23:18-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dissatisfied with the NFL’s silence and uniform statement in regard to the latest round of Black Lives Matter protests, a Kansas City native went rogue in the hopes of inspiring change.

“I was strictly a catalyst here. Many colleagues, specifically black colleagues, have put down years of work internally,” said Bryndon Minter, creative producer with the NFL. “Without that work, this would’ve never happened.”

Minter says he and several other employees in NFL social circles were looking for a more firm stance from league executives condemning racism in the aftermath of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police.

“It shouldn’t be that hard. Those are simple words, but those are powerful words,” Minter, a Blue Valley Northwest graduate, told 41 Action News via Zoom video chat Monday.

In hopes of the NFL issuing a more powerful statement, Minter reached out to New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas via Instagram.

What began as a small project eventually turned into a viral message including some of the league's biggest stars, such as Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and safety Tyrann Mathieu.

“How many times do we need to ask you to listen to your players?” Mathieu asks in his portion of the clip, which received more than 830,000 views on the official NFL Twitter account and hundreds of thousands more on each of the players' personal pages.

“What if I was Tamir Rice?” Mahomes asks.

“People like Tyrann, like Patrick; they are the league here,” Minter said. “And if we don’t listen to them ... what are we doing?”

Just 24 hours after the release of the video made by Minter, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a more stringent statement.

“Without black players, there would be no National Football League,” Goodell said in part, apologizing for not listening to players' demands for change during the 2016 season. “We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”

Moving forward, Minter says the video, and the subsequent apology from the league, is only the first step in a long journey toward curing racial injustices inside the NFL.

“I think it is a change of heart. Over the years, NFL execs and NFL employees have started to listen,” he said.