Cardinals Honor George Floyd by Giving Players Day Off

Mason Kern

In their attempt to honor the death of George Floyd, an African-American male who was killed after having his neck knelt on by a white police officer for a nearly nine-minute period while handcuffed on the ground, the Arizona Cardinals granted players the day off from virtual meetings, per running back Kenyan Drake.

"Cardinals have granted us the day off from meetings to honor George Floyd’s memorial," he wrote on Twitter Thursday morning. "We are but a small cog in a big machine but gestures like these create dialogue and expands the vision to help take the next steps for a better tomorrow. Peace and love."

The Cardinals joined the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks as franchises to make the gesture, per ESPN. The first of three scheduled services for Floyd is set to take place Thursday afternoon in Minneapolis.

The three memorials will occur over a six-day period in meaningful cities of Floyd's life, the first of which is on Thursday afternoon at North Central University in Minneapolis.

Afterward, Floyd's body will be transported to Raeford, N.C., the site of his birth 46 years ago, for a two-hour public viewing and family private service on Saturday. Lastly, an open, public viewing event will be held Monday in Houston, Tex., where he spent most of his life. There will be a 500-person service on Tuesday, which will be located at The Fountain of Praise church, followed by a private burial.

Multiple other Cardinals have been outspoken in the days following Floyd's death.

“The senseless murder of black people in this country, especially by police officers, should make everyone angry,” nose tackle and team captain Corey Peters said. “The overwhelming feeling I have on this travesty is sadness. Sadness that black people are being killed in the streets, sadness that peaceful protests are being hijacked by people looking to start trouble, sadness that many of my American brothers/sisters refuse to acknowledge what people of color deal with each and every day.”

Cornerback Patrick Peterson expressed his outrage via an open letter on Twitter.

“How many times will our leaders stand by and watch as our anger spills over into the streets to cause unnecessary havoc in our communities?” he wrote. “Not for publicity, not for politics, not for personal interest. BUT FOR THE LIVES OF AMERICANS!???!!

“How can you expect us to come to any other conclusion than that we ARE NOT VALUED EQUALLY because of the color of our skin?? WE DEMAND CHANGE!”

Quarterback Brett Hundley posted various pictures of a Phoenix-based Black Lives Matter march. Wide receiver Christian Kirk denounced a local restaurant after screenshots of racist comments were posted on social media.

For now, players are dealing with their emotions in their own unique ways. The Cardinals decided to give them an open day to do just that.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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