Less than a year after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin a few miles away from U.S. Bank Stadium — and while the Chauvin trial is still going on — another tragic incident occurred involving the police shooting and killing a Black man in the metro area. 20-year-old Daunte Wright was killed by a police offer on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, MN, in an incident that was described as "accidental" because the officer mistook her firearm for her taser.
The Vikings released a strong statement on the event — which is making national headlines — on Monday evening.
"We are heartbroken by the senseless killing of Daunte Wright," the statement reads. "This avoidable situation is yet another tragic reminder of the drastic need for change in law enforcement training and police relations, specifically within the Black community. Our hearts go out to Mr. Wright's family and friends and all those who are hurting in our community."
A few Vikings players took to social media to react to the latest example of something that has become far too common in the United States.
The Vikings were very active in their response to the killing of Floyd last year, which sparked weeks of unrest in Minneapolis.
- Several players attended Floyd's memorial service to show their support.
- Several players helped organize supply drives in the community.
- Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr, who are two leaders of the team's social justice committee, called out the NFL for not taking action.
- The Wilf family donated $5 million dollars to social justice causes.
- The Vikings' social justice committee formed several initiatives to create change and hosted a Zoom call with reporters in which they discussed those initiatives and gave their thoughts on racial injustice and police brutality.
- After a scrimmage at U.S. Bank Stadium in August, Ameer Abdullah gave an impassioned speech about the change that needs to happen — while nearly the entire team stood behind him.
- Kendricks was at the forefront of it all, and was named the Vikings' Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for all of the work he did. (This story from SI's Greg Bishop is phenomenal.)
Now it has happened again, less than 10 miles from their home stadium, and the Vikings aren't staying quiet. Credit to the players and the organization for standing up for what is right, even if they know they'll face some blowback for doing so.