Vikings Running Back On George Floyd: “We Are All Grieving”

People want their voices heard, Alexander Mattison says, but “there’s a peaceful way to do this"

Zach Gelb
June 01, 2020 - 9:16 am
George Floyd Protest

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The death of George Floyd sparked outrage and protests across the nation this past weekend, as thousands of people took to the streets to condemn Floyd’s death.

Floyd, an African American, died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes. Chauvin has been charged with murder and manslaughter.

Vikings running back Alexander Mattison dropped by CBS Sports Radio to share his thoughts on this, and other, matters.

“It’s a very unfortunate event that we all are grieving over,” Mattison said on The Zach Gelb Show. “It’s a situation that we’ve seen too often over the course of the years. I’m trying to make sure that I stay home and stay away from all of the stuff that’s going on. I never thought I’d be in a position where I’m right next door to something like this happening. I’ve seen it on the news and things like that, but I never really thought it would be right here in the backyard. So it is something that is very unfortunate, but we have to try and get through this, and I’m trying to be as peaceful as I can and just grieve from afar.”

Many protestors remained peaceful while demonstrating; many did not. But violence, Mattison says, is not the answer.

“These people are trying to make a statement, trying to have their voices heard,” he said. “But it’s never the right thing to go and cause destruction and do things like that. There’s a peaceful way to do this. As far as everything going on, I give my love and support and condolences to his family and just hope that we can all get past this and come out better on the other side with as least harm as possible done.”

As for football, the Vikings went 10-6 and beat the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card round this past season. They will enter 2020 without one of their top playmakers, as Stefon Diggs was traded to Buffalo in March.

Mattison learned of the trade via Instagram.

“It was kind of shocking,” he said. “I was messaging around and texting around to try and find out if it was true, but it was one of those things like, ‘Wow, dang.’ But you kind of just understand. You understand the situation. You understand the background of it all. At the end of the day, people have to make decisions and you can’t do nothing but respect that.”

Mattison, 21, described Diggs, 26, as a “big brother.”

“He’d kind of pick on me and give me some advice here and there,” Mattison said. “I really appreciate all that he was able to do for our team and do for me, whether it was a couple inspirational words here and there or even just chewing me out early on when I messed up a play. Those are some things I take away. He’s extremely passionate about this game of football. Anything that was [said] about him being a problem or an issue had nothing to do with his personality, but just the fact that he was so passionate about the game. A lot of respect to him, and I wish nothing but the best for him.”