Business

Erik Gibbs

Growing number of NFL players want to be paid in crypto

If Jerry Maguire were filmed today, perhaps the famous tagline would be “Show me the Bitcoin!” It seems a growing number of NFL players are interested in being paid in cryptocurrency and not fiat, perhaps marking the start of what will be a growing trend of sports stars to embrace the future. If this were to happen, with the power they possess to sway public opinion, it could be bigger news for the Bitcoin ecosystem than AT&T accepting crypto.

Russell Okung, an offensive tackle for the LA Chargers, is ready for the future. He tweeted earlier this month a seemingly random tweet in support of Bitcoin, stating simply, “Pay me in Bitcoin.” He then added a few minutes later, “How dope would it be to see an ESPN headline with an athlete being paid in $BTC [Bitcoin Core]?”

Okung is no stranger to crypto and has been supportive of it in the past. He has published social media comments such as “How could something so wrong make me feel so right?” and “I’m part of the revolution. Long $BTC, short the bankers,” which get the crowd riled up more than a 40-yard gain up the middle of the field.

The NFL athlete isn’t the only one, though, to be ready for the Bitcoin evolution. After his tweet, Anthony Pompliano, co-founder and partner of Morgan Creek, pointed out that another player has been trying for years to be paid in crypto.

Pompliano stated, “NFL Quarterback @MattBarkley tried to get the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals to each pay his contracts in Bitcoin. Neither would do it. Matt is just one of many Bitcoiners that are playing in the NFL on Sundays.”

Barkley is apparently no novice when it comes to Bitcoin. Pompliano’s tweet caused a stir, with a number of entities trying to get Barkley to support their cause or use their equipment. Trezor jumped in and offered free wallets, but Barkley stated that he’s a Ledger man. Someone also suggested that he begin mining, to which he responded that he already is.

Out of all of the players getting into crypto, Okung is in the best position to make a difference. He is the VP of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), the players union, and, as such, could negotiate for the league’s teams to be more flexible in how they pay salaries. The NFL and the NFLPA are currently discussing options ahead of the upcoming season. Perhaps Bitcoin is going to arrive to the NFL sooner than anyone could have ever expected.

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