During their home opener against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings recognized the family of George Floyd, and strove to bring awareness to issues of social justice. Floyd’s family was inside U.S. bank Stadium during the recognition, despite the fact that no fans were allowed to attend the game. Players wore t-shirts that read "Be the Change" on the front during pregame warmups and had the names of people who have been killed by alleged acts of racism or police brutality on the back. Players’ helmets and coaches' hats sported decals and patches touting “social justice-related messages.” The stadium’s end zones trumpeted the messages "It Takes All of Us" and "End Racism."
What a unique idea! How brave, outré, courageous! Nothing parroted, trite or stale here! Cutting edge, pushing the envelope stuff! What’s next, will they boldly attempt to condemn the Nazis? The abuse of animals? Abortion? Oops, sorry, had to put that last one in there for humor.
The same could be said for any professional sports team, and many college and amateur ones as well, but it’s football season and Minnesota is the state where I was born and grew up so I am singling the Vikings out. Moreover, Minneapolis is wildly liberal—and, not coincidentally-- where the current insanity all started. Maybe the Vikings were worried that the mostly peaceful rioters would burn down U.S. Bank Stadium like they have much of the rest of the city if they didn’t take a knee in their direction.
Ironically, the actual Vikings were fierce white Scandinavian raiders, pillagers, plunderers and marauders. The NFL team shamelessly appropriated the term 60 years ago, in a far less feckless and feminine era. I am surprised progressives haven’t demanded the team change its name to something less offensive, such as the Minnesota Moderates or the Minnesota Nice.