College Football Hall of Fame Damaged During Atlanta Protests

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Following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers Monday, demonstrations have broken out across the country. As many marched in the streets in Atlanta, protesters broke in windows at the downtown College Football Hall of Fame, according to Eric Stirgus of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Before law enforcement arrived on the scene, people were seen looting the building, per Stirgus. Several protesters reportedly threw trash cans and other objects through the building's exterior, and some ran inside to take items. 

Blayne Alexander, a reporter for NBC News, took video of the damaged Hall of Fame.

The $68 million facility opened in 2014 after relocating from South Bend, Ind.

College Football Hall of Fame CEO Kimberly Beaudin told 11 Alive News's Maura Sirianni on Saturday morning that none of the artifacts or memorabilia in the museum were damaged. Only the glass in front of the store was broken. The Chick-fil-A that sits next to the museum was also damaged.

The protest started peacefully Friday afternoon in Atlanta's Centennial Park. CNN reports protesters began moving toward downtown's CNN Center, where police gathered, around 6 p.m. ET. Protesters vandalized the CNN logo outside its offices and broke windows before entering. The CNN Center is located one block away from the Hall of Fame. 

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms held a press conference Friday night condemning the vandalism.

"What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. This is chaos," Lance Bottoms said.

"A protest has purpose. When Dr. King was assassinated, we didn't do this to our city," she added. "If you want change in America, go and register to vote. ...That is the change we need in this country."

Floyd's death has sparked many reactions from the sports world. Former NBA player Stephen Jackson led a press conference in Minneapolis on Friday, speaking with raw emotion about a man he affectionately called "my twin."

"I'm here because they're not gonna demean the character of George Floyd, my twin," Jackson said Friday. "A lot of times when police do things that they know that's wrong, the first thing they do is try to cover it up and bring up your background to make it seem like the bull---- that they did was worthy.

"When was murder ever worth it? But if it's a black man it's approved. You can't tell me when that man had his knee on my brother's neck, taking his life away with his hand in his pocket that his smirk on his face didn't say, 'I'm protected.'"

On Friday, Colin Kaepernick pledged to pay for top defense lawyers for people arrested protesting police brutality in the Minneapolis area through his charitable arm Know Your Rights Camp.