Issues bigger than the Minnesota Vikings need to be the focus at this point in time.
In just a little over two weeks, the Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to kick off their 60th season in franchise history. The Vikings and the rest of the NFL have been working day and night to ensure the COVID-19 pandemic won’t prevent them from starting the 2020 season on time.
Everything appears to be on track for Minnesota to take the field in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers and after that, who knows how the rest of the year will turn out for the league.
But here’s the thing. Who cares if the season starts on time or the Vikings play football at all this year.
Minnesota Vikings season secondary to the current racial issues going on around the country
If you’ve already stopped reading at this point, that is okay. You have that right. For those who have stuck around, there might be some things coming up that you’re not going to enjoy reading. But we will be sure to use as many facts and truths as possible to help explain what is going on in the United States right now.
On Wednesday, the NBA postponed all of their playoff games, three MLB games were postponed, and five MLS matches were postponed in an effort to bring more attention to police brutality and other current social justice issues.
On Thursday, a number of NFL teams including the Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, and Arizona Cardinals decided to cancel their practices with the same goal in mind to increase awareness of what is currently happening off the field around the country.
Minnesota did not cancel their practice on Thursday, but they did hold a two-hour meeting earlier in the day that reportedly featured, “an emotional discussion,” according to the Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling.
The NBA playoffs are set to resume on Friday and most of the teams around the NFL will likely continue on with their original practice schedule after Thursday.
So some might be wondering what exactly is being accomplished by the NBA players boycotting their games or NFL teams canceling a single practice. What are these things going to accomplish?
The Athletic’s Arif Hasan helped explain why these decisions to boycott games and cancel practices are being made.
But with the recent incident involving Jacob Blake, a black man, getting shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin during an attempt to make an arrest, the country’s top athletes felt the need to make their message even louder.
None of these athletes have come out and said that Blake didn’t deserve to be arrested. Anyone who is able to Google can read about the fact that he had a warrant out for his arrest. These athletes all would’ve just liked to see the situation handled better than what resulted in Blake almost losing his life.
A good amount of sports fans, myself included, just don’t know what it is like to be a black man or woman in the United States today. We’ve been told that times have changed since the days of segregation in the mid 20th century. But if this is the case, then why do incidents of black people being singled out by law enforcement or other members of society keep happening?
These are obviously problems that still need to be solved and these disappointing events that continue to happen just make things like sports seem so insignificant when lives are being lost in situations when they don’t have to be.
Believe me, I want to see the Vikings take the field as much as anyone else. I depend on Minnesota playing football each year to put food on the table for my family. But even I realize that the issues off of the field are much bigger than football.
Are these problems going to be solved tomorrow? Will they be solved in a year? Probably not, but the players on the Vikings roster and in other major sports leagues are doing what they can with their large platforms to help create change so that things can improve sooner than later.
It’s up to people like you and me to listen to these athletes and do our best to understand what some of them have to deal with on a daily basis as a black person in the United States. With the collective efforts of us and our favorite sports stars, a lot can be accomplished to make this country a great place for every single person to call home.