Bitcoin update – NFL Players request Crypto salary
Sports teams and leagues have often been at the forefront of adopting advanced technology and leading the way with innovation and development. Pretty soon, however, they could also become one of cryptocurrency’s greatest allies in the ongoing battle for widespread exposure and integration.
It transpired during 2019 that a number of Bitcoin and crypto champions could be found amongst the elite athletes of America’s National Football League. At least three NFL players have been outspoken about their support for decentralized currencies, with two even seeking to be paid in Bitcoin during their 2019 contract negotiations.
NFL for decentralized currency
Earlier this year, the now backup for Buffalo Bills, Matt Barkley asked his former teams the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Francisco 49ers for a Bitcoin-based contract. But according to insiders, both teams reportedly rejected his requests.
Barkley’s attempt to be paid in Bitcoin also seems to have inspired the Los Angeles Chargers tackle, Russell Okung – a long term supporter of cryptocurrency – who took to Twitter to state “Pay me in Bitcoin”, declaring that he is “part of the revolution. Long $BTC, short the bankers”. Meanwhile, Barkley’s former 49ers teammate, All Pro cornerback Richard Sherman is a prolific crypto investor, having traded Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and various other alt-coins since 2013.
The likelihood of the NFL paying its MVPs like Lamar Jackson in Bitcoin may be some way off, but the association does have a strong crypto connection, so this landmark move could happen sooner than we think.
The NBA’s keen to play too
The NFL isn’t the only league where players are keen to take advantage of cryptocurrency, many top ballers in the National Basketball Association are also on board. In fact, the NBA has taken more concrete steps than its football counterpart to integrate Bitcoin in some way shape of form.
All the way back since 2014, the Sacramento Kings have accepted Bitcoin as a payment method for tickets and merchandise. This forward thinking team were pioneers of crypto tech, even building a data centre into their home arena which they use to mine the currency.
The Kings were followed by rivals the Dallas Mavericks in August 2019, when the team, who are owned by billionaire tech investor and venture capitalist Mark Cuban, rolled out Bitcoin as an accepted form of payment for fan purchases.
So, with major sports teams happy to accept Bitcoin as a payment method, what’s preventing further integration into player contracts and salaries? Largely, the continued market volatility surrounding cryptocurrency does greatly impact the price of Bitcoin, which will no doubt cause issues with salary caps and contracts based on the dollar value. But with an increasing number of top football and basketball players showing interest and involvement in crypto, the demand is increasing.