One of the unfortunate results of new technology is that a person’s worst moments live on forever on video. Getting beat up used to only live in the memories of the people who witnessed it, but with camera phones, the entire world can now watch someone get clocked on demand.
For Laremy Tunsil, his moment cost him millions of dollars.
Minutes before the start of the 2016 NFL Draft, a video of Tunsil smoking — what we can only assume to be weed — out of a gas-mask bong and giggling made its way to his Twitter account. To this day, Tunsil says he did not post the video. He was hacked. Regardless, the incident caused him to fall in the draft even as the national perception on marijuana use was rapidly changing. Tunsil’s draft projection was that of the No. 1 overall pick. He ended up being selected 13th by the Miami Dolphins.
Since then he was traded to the Houston Texans in 2019, a year he made the first of two Pro Bowls (he did it again in 2020), and is currently in the final year of a three-year extension he signed in 2020 that will pay him $66 million, $50 million guaranteed.
Tunsil has decided to generate some more income by turning that embarrassing day into an investment.
Tunsil announced on Twitter that he is releasing a one-of-one version of that video as an NFT, with a portion of the proceeds from the purchase of the NFT to be donated to Last Prisoner Project — a non-profit that helps people who have been criminalized for their involvement with cannabis.
While I’m still torn as to whether it was best for him to announce this just prior to the draft or on 4/20, this is a spectacular idea. If your account was hacked and a video was released that damaged your professional earning capacity, try to get a little of it back. If I had the money to bid on this, I would absolutely throw one in. This would be way better to have than a highlight of a game-winning shot from six years ago or one of these Nike Cryptokicks that costs thousands of dollars.
This video would be quite the conversation piece at parties, if you have any desire to go to those things after over a year without them. Say it’s downtime during game night and you’re stuck making awkward small talk with three people that you’ve never met in your life.
“So, do you remember that video from the NFL player who got caught on video smoking from a bong right before the draft?”
“Sort of. The gas mask right? If he’s a professional athlete, at least he does things at full speed.”
“I own that video.”
“He sold it to me.”
“Hey, own your mistakes right.”
This is something that absolutely more people who have dealt with public shame on video should do. Nick Young, aka Swaggy P, should make an NFT of that video D’Angelo Russell took of him that ended his relationship with Iggy Azalea and Russell’s tenure with the Lakers. MIchelle Williams should make one from that time she fell while Destiny’s Child was performing on 106 & Park. Imagine how much money Chris Rock could make if he had five NFTs featuring Will Smith slapping him in front of a billion people at the Oscars. Or a how about a NFT from Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction”? Screw a lawsuit, become the entrepreneur of your shame.
With the final two I’m not sure how copyright laws work with that, but you get my point. Tunsil has opened up an entirely new marketplace. Literally, own your shame. So, if you have a few too many one night and it ends with a fresh shiner under your eye for running your mouth too much and you unfortunately go viral, don’t sweat it. The more millions of views the better. Your eye may look ridiculous for a week, but you’ll be able to afford some nice sunglasses afterward.
It’s a brave new world out there. Your embarrassment can become your big payday.