31-year-old Russell Okung is an American football offensive tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers, a member club of the Conference West division of the National Football League (NFL). On May 14, he came the first NFL player to say that he would like his salary to be paid in Bitcoin (BTC). And since then, some other NFL players have revealed their interest in Bitcoin.
It all started with the following tweet from Russell on May 14:
Pay me in Bitcoin.— Russell Okung 🇳🇬 (@RussellOkung) May 14, 2019
As you can imagine, this tweet sent Crypto Twittter wild with excitement, with so far 1.2K Retweets and 6.2K Likes.
A few minutes later, Russell sent out the following tweet:
The most interesting reply to this second tweet came from 28-year-old Matt Barkley, a quarterback for the NFL team Buffalo Bills:
I tried— Matt Barkley (@MattBarkley) May 14, 2019
But perhaps an even more surprising tweet from Matt was this one:
Already am mining https://t.co/Wgn8KVdLYA— Matt Barkley (@MattBarkley) May 14, 2019
These tweets prompted Anthony Polpliano (aka "Pomp"), a Founding Partner at Morgan Creek Digital Assets, to compliment both players for their awareness of and their interest in Bitcoin:
You two are studs for pushing Bitcoin into the mainstream adoption 🙏🏽— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) May 14, 2019
When Russell asked the community what was their favorite exchange for trading, the community recommended various exchanges (including Binance, Bittrex, and Gemini), but perhaps the best reply came from John Carvalho, the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Bitrefill, who gave Russell this advice:
Please don't trade unless you intend to make a career out of it full-time. Just accumulate and be a specialized productive human converting fiat into BTC.— John Carvalho (@BitcoinErrorLog) May 15, 2019
Later that day, when someone asked Russell how his teammates feel about the idea of being paid in Bitcoin, Russell said that he was "talking to them about it right now."
Since then, here is what Russell has been up to:
- bought the book "The Bitcoin Standard" (by Saifedean Ammous);
- started listening to podcasts by Laura Shin, Anthony Pompliano (aka "Pomp"), and Marty Bent;
- said that he is long Bitcoin and that Bitcoin "has changed the way" he looks at the world; and
- started reading about BTC forks.
On Saturday (May 25), Russell revealed that two other NFL players are asking him about Bitcoin:
A couple of players are hitting me up about Bitcoin. Yes, I’m serious!— Russell Okung 🇳🇬 (@RussellOkung) May 25, 2019
Welcome to the future. pic.twitter.com/Y0ht2dGkGh
What makes Russell's interest in Bitcoin especially interesting and important is that he is not just any NFL player -- he is the Vice President of the NFL Player's Association (NFLPA).
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