The young Minnesota Vikings defensive end felt the need to join a protest with his community.
After battling his way through training camp last year, Ifeadi Odenigbo more than earned a spot on the final 2019 roster of the Minnesota Vikings.
Odengibo had bounced around with the Vikings and a few other teams in the NFL after he was drafted in 2017. But he found his way back to Minnesota last year and he made the most of his second opportunity with the franchise.
It resulted in Odenigbo adding some much-needed versatility to the Vikings’ defensive line since he could line up on the inside or the outside. In 16 games with Minnesota last season, he appeared in 34 percent of the team’s defensive snaps and finished with 23 tackles (seven for a loss), 13 quarterback hits, seven sacks, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, and one touchdown.
Last weekend, the Minnesota Vikings defensive end protested with strangers.
It is impossible to not know what has been going on around the United States during the last week. In response to the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, numerous protests have taken place all over the country during the last few days.
A number of professional athletes have taken part in some of these protests and Odenigbo is someone who felt the urge to join people in their fight for change last weekend.
Currently residing in Chicago, Illinois, the Vikings defensive end decided to take an Uber and find a protest he could join. Odenigbo eventually discovered one and it resulted in him marching with complete strangers for more than three hours.
Odenigbo’s parents are from Nigeria and he’s the first member of his family to be born in the United States. So he felt like these protests were an opportunity for him to set a good example for his future children and grandchildren.
In a conversation with NBC Sports Chicago, Odenigbo mentioned that the Vikings have done, “a remarkable job,” with making it clear to their players that they do not support any of the violence that resulted in the death of Floyd and other African-Americans who have unjustly had their lives taken away.
Similar to the reaction Eric Kendricks had, Odenigbo also viewed the NFL’s recent statement on the protests and the violence as, “a slap in the face,” since it didn’t give the impression that the league was really taking a, “stand against (racism).”
For those who have been hesitant to voice their support of the protests, Odenigbo wants them to know that, “it’s okay to speak up.” The Minnesota defensive end really just wants to be part of the group that is finally able to make some serious, long-lasting changes for the African-American community in the United States.