The Minnesota Vikings plan to “recognize the family of George Floyd” before their season opener Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
“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 said in a press release issued Friday.
The performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often referred to as the “black national anthem,” will be accompanied by “a video showcasing the social justice work that NFL clubs and players are doing to make an impact in the community.”
The release said the Vikings will “continue to use the team’s platform to bring awareness to critical issues of racism and injustice.”
All players will be allowed to wear “their personal choice of helmet decals with social justice related messages or the name of a victim of systemic racism.”
“Players can wear the decals for the first game or can choose to keep them on their helmets for the entire season. Coaches also have the option to participate with a patch on their hats,” said the press release.
The end zones also will be marked with social justice messages, such as “End Racism” and “It Takes All of Us.”
The Vikings awarded their first “George Floyd Legacy Scholarship” earlier this week, a $5,000 award that will be granted to students each year.
“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.
Since fans aren’t allowed in the stadium because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Vikings are selling cutouts that will be “placed in the stands for all home games.”
“The cutouts are available to the fans for pickup at the conclusion of the season, and 100% of the net proceeds will go to support charitable causes within the community,” the press release added.
The NFL season kicked off in Kansas City, Missouri, Thursday night as the visiting Houston Texans remained in the locker room during the national anthem.