Prior to Sunday’s season opener, the Minnesota Vikings will be paying tribute to George Floyd. The NFL team invited Floyd’s family to attend the matchup against the Green Bay Packers.
The Vikings plan to honor Floyd after the playing of the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” according to TMZ. The team revealed the decision on Friday.
Since May, a number of Minnesota Vikings players spoke out about Floyd’s death in Minneapolis earlier this year. Star players like Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks demanded justice on social media.
Last month, Barr spoke out about how the George Floyd death hit close to home.
“I think this is the responsibility that we have not only as citizens but as athletes in the community, especially that the event was so close, hit so close to home for us with the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis,” Barr, 28, said, Twin Cities reports. “It only felt right to kind of be a little more proactive than I have been. I kind of put pressure on myself and my peers and my family members to do the same.”
The Vikings tapped music group “Sounds of Blackness” to perform the national anthem. In addition to inviting Floyd’s family, the team plans to honor community leaders fighting for equality.
Will the Minnesota Vikings Demonstration Play Out Like the Chiefs-Texans NFL Opener?
The NFL season officially kicked off on Thursday night. Before the game started, the Houston Texans and defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs interlocked arms in a “show of unity.”
During the demonstration, a number of fans at the Chiefs stadium booed the players and coaches. With the short and simple gesture, both squads hoped to promote unity and social justice. However, many fans at the game and on social media took issue with it.
The NFL is taking a number of gestures to allow players to speak out for their beliefs. Some of those measures include helmet decals, end zone messages, and pre-game t-shirts.