So the South High girls volleyball team can take a stand by kneeling, and some of the local inner city high school football players from the much maligned and criticized Minneapolis North can take a knee, and practically the entire WNBA Minnesota Lynx takes a stand on the problem of police violence, but the biggest, strongest men in town, the Minnesota Vikings, are silent and won’t even discuss it?
Personally I don’t think it says much for their manhood, because no one can deny that police violence is a problem in US for Black and yes White folks. It seems that the protest and the issue should at least come up for discussion. But according to a Minneapolis Star Tribune article the Vikings team captain Chad Greenway it hasn’t been discussed by anyone on the team.
Why wouldn’t the issue of police violence have been discussed? After all this is Minneapolis where Terrence Franklin was killed (murdered?) by the police under questionable circumstances, just a few years ago. And there was a significant effort to get justice for him organized in the community. The same is true for Jamar Clark who was killed by Minneapolis police during the football season last year.
And practically the entire technologically connected world saw the video of Philando Castille dying live on FaceBook as his girlfriend calmly confronted his murderer.
A quick look at the Vikings roster reveals that not one player is from the moon.
Practically all of them come from urban areas, where police violence is as prevalent as any other kind of violence. Shariff Floyd is from Philadelphia where his school George Washington High has a history of racial strife among students, TJ Clemmings lived and went to high school in Patterson New Jersey, Xavier Rhodes is from my hometown of Miami Gardens where Trayvon Martin was from and attended church. Teddy Bridgewater (who can be excused for now for taking a knee because of his injury) is from Liberty City in Miami where last year police killed seven people in six days.
Andre Smith grew up in Birmingham the backyard of the civil rights movement. Team captain Everson Griffen who had his own personal experience with police violence when he was tased a few years ago, and according to coach Mike Zimmer “is not afraid to voice his opinion,” yet he doesn’t have an opinion?
And unlike Vikings teams of the past especially the Purple People Eater generation they can’t be found in the community. If the team hasn’t designated the charity event they don’t seem to participate or connect with the community. So maybe they didn’t even bother to talk about police violence, because just maybe they are too good for the peons in the community, after all most can’t afford to buy tickets.
Maybe they have been bullied and intimidated out of saying anything by the outspoken Alex Boone who issued a not too thinly veiled threat at Colin Kaepernick saying that “we probably would have had a problem on the sideline.” Boone’s current teammates could be thinking they don’t want a problem with him so they choose to stay silent.
Boone is a former SF 49er teammate of Kaepernick and his opinion of the quarterback’s anthem protest was, “there’s a time and a place. Show some respect. You should have some f—ing respect for people who served.” Needless to say the 300 pound athlete from small town Ohio, has it wrong, the flag nor the anthem represent the military, but are merely symbols of the country.
Could it be they are afraid to lose out on endorsement deals, the love of money being the root of all evil or in this case “silence.” They can’t blame the league for holding them back NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has gone on record saying the league acknowledges their right to kneel.
Without a doubt the Vikings along with the rest of the NFLers especially the Black players have a right to remain silent. But this is a golden opportunity to give back. Whether they admit it or not, the vast majority of these players owe a debt to the communities they come from.
In many instances a coach, a teacher, a neighbor, friend, or friend of a neighbor went beyond the call of duty to help them. Even those they played with and left behind played a part in their success by helping them to sharpen their skills. Truth be told some of those they left behind were better, but not as lucky or well behaved.
Whatever the reason for their silence it’s louder than any crowd noise made on Sunday’s in the new stadium built with the “peoples” money!
justice then peace