No one knows for sure if any anthem-kneeling will occur inside U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, when the Minnesota Vikings take on the New Orleans Saints. However, there will most assuredly be some protesting going on outside the stadium.
A group calling themselves Take a Knee Nation Twin Cities, has planned to stage a protest against police violence outside the Vikings stadium on Sunday. According to a Facebook post, the group says their demonstration will be held in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., who, the group says, would protest police violence if he were alive today.
“Over the course of the NFL season, there’s been other pre-game demonstrations at U.S.Bank Stadium where dozens knelt against police violence, specifically in regards to the deaths of Jamar Clark, Philando Castile and Justine Damond.”
The NFL’s anthem protest movement began in the preseason of 2016, when then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first sat, then knelt, in protest against police brutality. Kaepernick continued his protest throughout the 2016 season, but has not suited-up for another NFL team since walking away from his contract in San Francisco at the end of that year.
Despite Kaepernick’s absence in 2017, the protest movement he began continued without him. Increasing in intensity during Week 3 of the season, after President Trump blasted the protesting players at a political rally. During that weekend over 200 players, executives, and coaches, protested the anthem and President Trump.
However, after that weekend, the number of protesting players dwindled to the point where only 19 players protested in the final week of the season.