The Minnesota Vikings aired a pregame video from the National Football League (NFL) likening today to the reality of early 20th-century black Americans.
“As we celebrate the return to football, the Minnesota Vikings recognize the continuing fight for equality, and the work needed to improve our community,” stated the announcer.
Marvel Cinematic Universe actor Anthony Mackie narrated the video. Black and white pictures showed white individuals standing over black individuals working fields and enduring beatings.
“At the dawn of the 20th century, America was a country full of promise and hope for many. Black Americans faced a different reality: a nation separate and unequal. Yet their hope persisted. Pained by inequality, but inspired by resilience, writer and Civil Rights activist James Weldon Johnson put to paper. His words would become a unifying call – a hope for a brighter tomorrow. A timeless exhortation to lift every voice and sing.”
Alicia Keys sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the composition dubbed the “Black national anthem.” Clips of individuals marched wearing Black Lives Matter t-shirts or raising power fists.
After the video aired, George Floyd’s family stood in front of the Gjallarhorn to be honored.
The announcer stated that Floyd was killed “senselessly and tragically.” The video declared that Minneapolis was “the epicenter in a worldwide call for justice, change, and racial equity.” As a means of honoring those “silenced” by police killings, the Gjallarhorn wasn’t sounded at kickoff. The tradition, established in 2007, is usually an honor reserved for notable military or world-class professional athletes.
In the weeks after Floyd’s death, Vikings donated over $5 million to “organizations that fight hate, racism, and inequality.” Those organizations aren’t specified. The team also endowed $125,000 to a George Floyd Legacy Scholarship. Every year, one graduating student will receive $5,000 in college tuition funds. No announcements to local businesses destroyed by the riots were found.
In the Floyd case, the judge issued a pre-trial decision Friday to dismiss the prosecuting attorneys for being “sloppy in not having someone else present” while interviewing a key witness. Judge Cahill also didn’t indicate any change the trial’s location after all four defendants argued that an impartial jury in the county wouldn’t be possible.
The next court date in the Floyd trials is scheduled for March 8th, 2021.
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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Minnesota Sun and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Image “Alicia Keys Sings ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing'” by Minnesota Vikings.