MINNEAPOLIS — A contingent of Vikings players showed their support for the family of George Floyd and the Minneapolis community Thursday afternoon by attending Floyd’s private memorial service.
All team meetings were canceled Thursday, and the business formally closed the office at noon in observance of the memorial service that was held at North Central University’s Frank J. Lindquist Sanctuary, less than a half-mile from U.S. Bank Stadium.
Vikings players Alexander Mattison, Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph, Mike Hughes, Garrett Bradbury, Aviante Collins, Dakota Dozier, Tajaé Sharpe, Tyler Conklin, Chad Beebe, Cameron Smith and Jake Browning attended and paid their respects to Floyd.
“I think it was something that we collectively as a group understood, especially having the dynamic of our locker room, that we wanted to show up,” Mattison said. “We’re a team that people in this community look up to and look at in Minnesota, especially in Minneapolis.
“We’re fortunate to play there, so we wanted to make a statement that we’re behind this, and also show our love and support,” Mattison added. “We were all out there because we know it’s a tough time in this world, and we wanted to show our love and support as a team.”
Gov. Tim Walz and Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie also attended. Rev. Al Sharpton traveled from out of state to speak and joined community leaders and activists in mourning Floyd’s death.
“That was definitely one powerful atmosphere. It was like no other that I’ve felt in my life, the power that I felt in that room,” Mattison said. “His family was able to give their testimony for how great of a man he was, and it’s sad to see how a life was taken.
“Al Sharpton really hit home with me about how our time is now,” Mattison added. “The time is now for change. We’re going to continue to talk about it and figure out ways to make that change as a team and people of this community.”
Floyd died May 25. The 46-year-old lost consciousness after an incident in which video taken by bystanders showed a Minneapolis Police Department officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers at the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting.
Floyd’s death resulted in tremendous pain and has led to more than a week of protests in the Twin Cities and beyond with people seeking positive changes.
Rudolph and Okogie are among a group leading a supply drop/pickup from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, June 5 at Cub Foods, 2850 26th Ave S., Minneapolis: