MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Protesters demonstrating against police violence took a knee Sunday outside U.S. Bank Stadium ahead of the Vikings game against the Baltimore Ravens.
With signs and a megaphone, several demonstrators gathered among fans flocking into the downtown Minneapolis stadium before the noontime kickoff. The protesters’ signs read: “Take a knee, end police violence,” “Black Lives Matter” and “No More Minnesota Nice.” Some signs had a hashtag calling for an NFL boycott.
In a Facebook post, the protesters said they are standing against police violence and racism. The post mentioned Philando Castile, Jamar Clarke and Justine Damond as Minnesotans who’ve recently been killed in police shootings.
The act of kneeling in protest was made popular by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started kneeling during the national anthem last year to protest racial injustice.
Since the start of the 2017 football season, the act of kneeling during the national anthem has become part of the country’s political discussion, particularly after President Donald Trump called for players who knelt to be fired.
Last week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that only six or seven players are currently protesting during the national anthem. He added that the league’s goal – by working to meet the concerns of protesting players – is to get the number of players kneeling to zero.
Meanwhile, Kaepernick has filed a grievance against the league. The free agent alleges that owners have colluded to not sign him.