In the wake of a renewed conversation around inequality in America following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, the Vikings announced on Wednesday that team ownership will be making a $5 million donation to various social justice causes.
"We understand that as an NFL franchise, as the Minnesota Vikings, we have a significant platform," Chief Operating Officer Andrew Miller said. "And that platform is both a privilege and an obligation that we have to use for the good and to make a positive impact in our community. The Wilfs understand, we understand as leaders and an organization that it’s going to take more than money, more than statements, and frankly, it’s going to take action. And we’re committed."
The announcement from Miller came early on in an 80-minute Zoom call the Vikings held with local and national media members on Wednesday to discuss recent events, social injustice, and how to bring about change going forward. Also participating in the call – which was both powerful and emotional throughout – were Vikings GM Rick Spielman, co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson, and players Eric Kendricks, Anthony Harris, and Ameer Abdullah.
During his opening statement, Patterson broke the news that the Vikings have created a scholarship in Floyd's name that will fund the college education of African-American students. According to Patterson, that idea was something that came from the players, specifically those on the team's social justice committee.
"When the tragedy happened a couple of weeks ago, it was real easy for Rick and I to get the committee together, and we did and they were very strong with, 'How can we help?'" Patterson said. "And what they wanted to do was find a way to help his family or put something together so he would always be remembered. And so one of the things they brought up was trying to put a scholarship together in George Floyd's name. It only took one week and the Vikings came together and got that done."
The Vikings later announced "an endowment for the George Floyd Legacy Scholarship with an establishing gift of $125,000 by the Vikings Social Justice Committee," per a team statement.
This is just the latest example of the Vikings organization's response to Floyd's tragic death and the ensuing protests around the country. The team, players, and coaches have spoken out against systemic racism and injustice. A dozen Vikings living in the Twin Cities area attended Floyd's memorial service last week, and several more helped out at a community charity event organized by tight end Kyle Rudolph.
InsideTheVikings will have more coverage on what was said during this important Zoom call going forward.
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