Vbefore the eyes of George Floyd’s family, the NFL season started in Minneapolis on Sunday. The stadium is only about three miles from the place where the 46-year-old African American died in a police operation in late May. The game of the football pros of the Minnesota Vikings against the Green Bay Packers was also heralded like every other this season with the unofficial anthem of the blacks “Lift every voice and sing”.
The teams either lined up in a row in silence and hooked up while the song, sung by Grammy winner Alicia Keys, was playing on the stadium screen – or they left the field and walked closed into the dressing room, where they also played the traditionally national anthem stayed.
After months of protests against racism and police violence in the United States that followed Floyd’s death, and numerous actions and intermittent strikes in other sports, the behavior of the professionals in the National Football League had been eagerly awaited. Colin Kaepernick started as the then quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers in 2016 with his kneeling protest during the anthem.
At the start of the NFL season on Thursday, defending champions Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans (34:20) had drawn attention to racism and police violence in the run-up to the game – but were also booed by some fans in the stadium. In Minneapolis, on the other hand, as in most stadiums of the NFL, there were no spectators due to the corona pandemic – except for members of the Floyd family. They then saw a 34:43 defeat of the Vikings in the derby against the Green Bay Packers.