MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minneapolis sports community took the step to give back to a neighborhood still struggling after the events of the past week.
At the Cub Foods on 26th Avenue, members of the Vikings, Timberwolves, and Gophers helped distribute goods like diapers and food as the area tried to heal.
“I came to America when I was eight, and I didn’t learn much about racism,” said Daneille Hunter, a defensive end with the Minnesota Vikings. “But I’ve seen over the years everything that’s been happening. And it’s just something that needs to stop.”
“Once we knew there was something going on that could be a part of change, change starts with me, change starts with you, it starts with all of us,” said Gopher football head coach PJ Fleck.
They’re using their visibility to help drive the conversation about racism in America, and to listen.
“Maybe 2020 is what we needed to change, to have the difficult conversations we’re having ” said Kyle Rudolf, a tight end with the Vikings. “It’s a completely different outlook on what’s been an awful year.”
“I think what we’re doing as a community as a whole is opening up conversations,” said Josh Okogie, a guard with the Minnesota Timberwolves. “We’re letting everybody speak out. We’re letting everybody hold each other accountable and I think this is the first step it takes to have reform.”
The sports community is always followed by Minnesota fans. But this time, they’re taking their fame and focusing it towards having conversations about injustice within the community.
“It’s best for us to be able to go out there and set an example,” said Hunter.
While this drive was able to serve an immediate need, the players and coaches also recognized that there’s more work to be done.