The Minnesota Vikings awarded their first “George Floyd Legacy Scholarship” earlier this week.
Minneapolis native Meredith “Mimi” Kol-Balfour received $5,000 from the Vikings, a sum the NFL team plans to continue granting to students each year in Floyd’s name. The team has also expanded its “Social Justice Committee” while owner Zygi Wilf has dedicated $5 million to “organizations that work for social justice,” a Vikings news release said.
“After the killing of George Floyd, we all got together, we thought it was very important for our organization to create this legacy scholarship and honor his name. This scholarship will go on and on forever,” said General Manager Rick Spielman.
He also commented on the Social Justice Committee: “Our Social Justice Committee is driven by the players with the support of our ownership, not only financially, but supporting the players on their platform and giving them an opportunity to go out and make change, which is so desperately needed in this country today.”
The committee advocates for three positions, according to the release. First, it wants to encourage Minnesotans to vote. Second, it wants to support the adoption of “impactful educational curriculum on racism and Black history.” This specifically means that the Vikings will attempt to install a curriculum called “306 Black History” in up to 25 Minnesota schools, per WCCO. Third, it advocates “for law enforcement and criminal justice reform.”
These efforts will be supported by a $1 million commitment from the Vikings, WCCO reported.
The team promoted its three social justice objectives on its Instagram page.
The Vikings are not alone in their celebration of Floyd. Shortly after Floyd died, a collection of NFL players produced a now-viral video declaring that they “are George Floyd” and a number of other people killed by police.
Meanwhile, countless other teams and players across professional sports have released similar statements in support of George Floyd, according to USA Today.