On Tuesday, NFL Tackle Russel Okung and Strike announced a partnership that will pay a sizable portion of Okung’s $13 million NFL salary in bitcoin.
Last May, Okung lobbied his former and current NFL teams to pay him in bitcoin. After reaching out to Strike founder Jack Mallers and working with the Carolina Panthers front office, this is now a reality.
Okung told Bitcoin Magazine last September that in a meeting with Ed McGuire, the Charger’s executive vice president of football administration and player finance, he drew blank stares when bringing up bitcoin. “I asked if they could pay me in bitcoin,” he recalled. “With this stoic face he looked at me and said, ‘What the hell is bitcoin?’”
With this announcement, Okung becomes the first professional athlete to receive bitcoin as payment for his labor on the field.
For Okung, this is about taking power back. By getting paid in bitcoin, he now is able to reclaim “power that is rightly ours.” He’s also put his time and energy into Bitcoin Is_, a project meant “to meet people where they are and unpack bitcoin in a really simple way,” he described to Bitcoin Magazine.
Mallers shared with the us that multiple athletes from the NBA, MLB and NFL are on board to get paid in bitcoin and they have even been contacted by several Billboard Top 500 artists about receiving part of their salaries in bitcoin.
This announcement goes beyond Okung and his team. Today, Strike is offering early access to users for this payday solution at payday.strike.me.