As the city of Minneapolis continues to cope following the death of George Floyd, Minnesota Vikings All-Pro linebacker Eric Kendricks put his thoughts out there on camera for his community on Wednesday night.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) June 3, 2020
”I know there’s a lot of you guys that feel probably similar to me. You feel a little bit helpless like you can’t do nothing. You want help. You wanna be the change, but you don’t know how to in this situation. It’s real deep.
Minneapolis is a place I care about really deeply. It breaks my heart to see the people of Minneapolis not only treated like this… but how hurt they are by this… This isn’t a problem that’s going to be fixed overnight. It’s going to take accountability from each of us. I say that because I’m applying the pressure to myself as well. I’m applying the pressure to myself to do more.
This has got to stop happening man this is ridiculous man this is just… it’s just over and over. I’m thankful that me and my teammates and the Vikings have been making major steps to try and help this. We’re trying to get in the community we’re trying to reach people as best we can. Obviously we need to improve — clearly — but we are doing so and will continue to do so.
But I just want to hold you guys to the same standard because it’s going to take all of us — you know what I mean, for real. It’s not going to happen overnight but we gotta do something.
And if you’re doing nothing it’s not good enough.”
Kendricks has recently become one of the team’s most outspoken and active members of the community. He is a team leader on the Vikings’ social justice committee, a partner in Sheridan Story’s mission to fight childhood hunger and is selling paintings to help those affected by COVID-19 his grandpa passed away from the virus.
He recently called out the NFL for its statement on George Floyd and social injustice, claiming it “said nothing” and the NFL’s “vague answers do nothing.”
Kendricks also added in a series of Tweets saying the Vikings have “opened a dialogue with players and we’re all working toward solutions with the team” and asked for suggestions from Twin Cities residents about how the franchise can support the city.
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Fans React to Kendricks
Kendricks was met with general support for his statement and with some suggestions on what the Vikings can do.
When chad greenway retired, I thought ‘we’ve lost the teams soul, heart and moral compass’.
And kendricks came along, and assumed that role. In such an incredible and inspiring way. I’m so proud that he’s a Viking.
— Sean Shea (@seanlikesbacon) June 3, 2020
That was not easy, EK. Proud of you and I love what you bring to this team on and off the field. I hope you spend your entire career as a Viking.
— Joffrey Rasul (@JoffreyRasul) June 4, 2020
Some fans suggested different equipment that memorializes George Floyd or Black Lives Matter, a social justice organization that advocates for racial equality.
This season should have a patch symbol on the jerseys for awareness #BlackLivesMatter
— T-Bone (@TBone2024) June 3, 2020
have blm stickers on the helmet or patches on jersey for next season
— ً (@grandesvikings) June 3, 2020
It would be really cool if both the Vikings and Packers wore black and white jerseys when they play at U.S. Bank Stadium week one. Two rivals coming together for a common cause that is bigger than football. Beautiful.
— TheSummerViking (@TheSummerViking) June 4, 2020
This Twitter user jabbed at the NFL for its statement and suggested the league take notes.
— EL Gato Grande (@EvanWins_) June 3, 2020
And, much like Kendricks said, some of us are just figuring out how to play our parts.
Thank u Eric for your message. Takes a real man to show his passion for this topic. This is such a hard topic. The problem for me is knowing where to start. Keep up the good work, hopefully I’ll figure hope to make my part count.
— Matt Kerkhoff (@KerkhoffMatt) June 4, 2020
Follow Trevor Squire on Twitter: @trevordsquire