The Minnesota Vikings will host the division rival Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday. It’s expected to be one of the best games on the Week 1 slate.
However, there’s a much more important backdrop than actual football. The game will take place less than four months after an African-American man by the name of George Floyd was brutally murdered by a then-Minneapolis police officer.
The incident immediately went viral and led to a continuation of protests against police brutality in the United States. As this took place in their own backyard, the Vikings were among the first to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. They are now taking this to a whole new level.
George Floyd’s family will attend Vikings’ season opener
“The Vikings will recognize the family of George Floyd, who will be inside U.S. Bank Stadium, following the performance of ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing,'” the team announced, via its official website.
That song is considered the black national anthem. It will be played ahead of every NFL game this season, as we saw in the opener between the Texans and Chiefs Thursday evening.
Related: NFL supports Black Lives Matter protests
In addition to this, the Vikings have other pregame festivities planned to show support for the fight for racial equality in the United States.
- Pregame shirts: Vikings players will wear t-shirts with the saying “Be the Change” on the front. The names of 200 victims of police brutality will be on the back of the shirts.
- End zone markings: Each end zone will be marked with messages such as “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism.” Vikings and Packers players will come together as a show of solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement.
- National anthems: The Minneapolis-based “Sounds of Blackness” will play the traditional national anthem with James Weldon Johnson performing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
It’s rather obvious that the NFL has planned for widespread acts similar to this before every game on the Week 1 slate. That obviously takes on new meaning in Minnesota following the murder of George Floyd on May 25.