No one knows for sure whether anyone will take a knee inside the Super Bowl on Sunday. However, it’s now clear that many will in fact kneel in protest, outside the stadium.
The Take a Knee Conference and Rally, will meet outside U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Saturday, and continue holding events on through Super Bowl Sunday.
U.S. Bank Stadium is not far from where Philando Castile was shot and killed by police in July of 2016. That incident, filmed by Castile’s girlfriend, went viral after it appeared on Facebook. The Castile shooting, among other incidents, inspired Kaepernick to launch his protest movement in the preseason of that year.
Castile’s mother will also attend the event, according to Sporting News.
Activist Mel Reeves told Sporting News, “These guys are putting a lot on the line,’’ Reeves said this week, of NFL anthem protesters. “Colin Kaepernick put his career on the line. The least we can do is keep this in the public eye.’’
According to Sporting News, “More than a dozen organizations, from inside and outside of Minnesota, have planned the conference and will take part in the demonstration, which will conclude with a rally about two blocks from the stadium’s west entrance. Some participants plan a march from downtown to the stadium as well.
And among the attendees — some of whom will speak at the conference, while others will appear at the stadium demonstration — are families and friends of victims of police violence, in the Minneapolis area and from elsewhere. That includes Castile’s mother, who is expected to give a speech either Saturday or Sunday, and supporters of Jamar Clark and Justine Damond, who were killed by Minneapolis police in November 2015 and July 2017, respectively.”
Reeves’ hope, is that the people speaking at the rally will feel supported by the attendees.
“Fighting police brutality is very stressful; you see how people who do it are ostracized and criticized,’’ Reeves said. “That’s why we wanted to bring them together out here, to show them they’re not alone.’’