Vikings to honor George Floyd, family at Sunday’s home opener against Packers

Game kicks off at noon form U.S. Bank Stadium

The Minnesota Vikings host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday to open the 2020 regular season at U.S. Bank Stadium, and the team announced Friday its plans to address racism and social injustice.

The family of George Floyd will be at U.S. Bank Stadium for Sunday’s game and will be recognized pregame following the performance of the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Floyd’s death in a Memorial Day incident involving Minneapolis police sparked worldwide protests and riots over racism and police brutality.

Vikings players have called for a fair and full prosecution of former officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murder in Floyd’s death.

Throughout pregame warm-ups, Vikings players will wear shirts that display “Be the Change” on the front and the names of 200 people killed by acts of racism or police brutality on the back. Players may also wear NFLPA and player-created shirts that say “An injustice to one is an injustice to us all.”

“Our team and our ownership and our Social Justice Committee has done an unbelievable job. The number of things that we’re trying to do to help the communities and help bring people together, and I think that’s really what it’s all about, trying to bring all people together and make everybody equal. I’m proud of our guys,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Friday.

The Vikings and Packers will come together in their end zones, which will be marked with “It takes all of us” and “End Racism” messages. It’s part of an initiative across the NFL for home openers.

Players have the option to wear helmet decals with messages related to social injustice or the name of a victim of systematic racism. They can be worn for the first game, or for the entire system.

The National Anthem will be performed by the Sounds of Blackness. It will be a pre-recorded version of the Star Spangled Banner before kickoff.

Vikings players have not publicly said what they have planned as a public protest to address racism and social injustice. Eric Kendricks, a member of the team’s Social Justice Committee, said the group met this week and the team planned to discuss what actions they might take.

In Thursday night’s NFL opener between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, both teams came out the middle of the field before kickoff and locked arms in a show of unity. The Texans remained in their locker room during the National Anthem, and the Chiefs had at least one player take a knee, while others locked arms.

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