After the Minnesota Vikings and its players had made statements surrounding the death of George Floyd and subsequent protests, coach Mike Zimmer broke his silence Tuesday night:
Statement from Head Coach Mike Zimmer pic.twitter.com/unBRZnd3Z1
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) June 2, 2020
“I want to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd as well as the entire community for his senseless death. Peaceful protests can help bring change, and we definitely need change so we can all live in harmony. Everyone needs to respect each other’s ideas and work together to strengthen, not weaken, our community. I believe our football team is an example of how people from all different backgrounds and experiences can come together for a common goal.”
Zimmer’s statement came among a wave of social media response to the matter.
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Kendricks and Barr’s Critique of the NFL
The statement came just hours after Vikings linebackers Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr criticized the NFL’s stance on the matter, arguing that it “said nothing.”
Kendricks posted several tweets yesterday that highlighted the Vikings’ mission to not just donate but to work with local organizations to facilitate change.
But we want answers at the league level. That’s where change can happen, and we’ve seen none. Because right now, it seems like nothing. And nothing is unacceptable.
— Eric Kendricks (@EricKendricks54) June 2, 2020
Barr shared Kendricks’ message as several other members of the Vikings have followed suit.
NFL Franchises Respond on ‘Blackout Tuesday’
Many NFL franchises made statements on George Floyd’s death on Tuesday, following a social media trend, #BlackoutTuesday, where accounts posted black squares or changed their profile photos in respect to promoting racial equality and justice for George Floyd.
The reactions were polarizing, as some argue that #BlackoutTuesday blocked out meaningful posts and black voices with blanket statements and empty hashtags.
The Washington Redskins, under criticism for its mascot being a derogatory slur towards Native Americans, were one of several organizations that came under fire for providing no context or statement beyond the black square.
thank you, washington racial slurs, for standing against racism
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) June 2, 2020
The New York Giants released a statement saying the franchise would continue to “strengthen the alliances” with local groups:
Statement from the New York Giants: pic.twitter.com/OomJPGDY7I
— New York Giants (@Giants) June 2, 2020
The Denver Broncos took the chance to share their players’ voices:
We will stand by our players.
We will lift up their voices.
We can do more.
We will do more.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 2, 2020
Former San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, who called the event “Blackball Tuesday,” referring to the NFL’s blackballing of Colin Kaepernick as the quarterback has remained unsigned after his silent protests during the national anthem.
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