Vikings announce George Floyd scholarship, $5M donation to social justice causes
The Minnesota Vikings, along with the Wilf family ownership group, announced on Wednesday a $5 million donation to social justice causes as well as the creation of a scholarship in the memory of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
The recent financial commitment by the Wilf family and the Vikings follows a $500,000 donation to the team’s Social Justice Committee over the past two years.
The #Vikings and the Wilf family have announced a $5 million donation to social justice causes throughout the United States.— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) June 10, 2020
The contributions from this fund will be determined in part through collaboration with players on the team's social justice committee.
“We continue to be inspired by these players as they advocate for transformational change in this very challenging moment,” Vikings president Mark Wilf said, per a Vikings.com news release. “We are proud of their efforts to use their platform in an effort to end deep-seated social injustices. Their thoughtful approach and our conversations with them have deeply moved us, certainly in large part because of our family’s history and long-standing commitment to human rights, but also because of their steadfast dedication to not sit idly by when they have the ability to make a difference.”
The endowment from the Vikings to establish the George Floyd Legacy Scholarship includes a gift of $125,000 from the Vikings Social Justice Committee.
The Vikings of course call Minneapolis home, which put the organization on the front lines of the peaceful protests, social unrest and public outcry that ultimately spread nationwide in the wake of Floyd’s death.
Vikings linebackers Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr strongly spoke out against the NFL’s initial handling of the fallout from Floyd’s death, during which both stars called out the league by asking “what actual steps are you taking to support the fight for justice and system reform?” before adding that the NFL’s “statement said nothing.”
30 Vikings players and staff later attended Floyd’s memorial service in Minneapolis, which was preceded by some players participating in peaceful protests across the country.
Vikings players attend George Floyd memorial in Minneapolishttps://t.co/vpxENQ12hb pic.twitter.com/cMaESJzbPM— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) June 5, 2020
The Vikings, given their recent history of supporting initiatives in pursuit of social justice, unsurprisingly are at the forefront of how NFL teams have begun committing themselves to taking a more proactive role in addressing systemic societal issues like racial inequality and police misconduct.
It’s clear in light of this week’s announcements that the Vikings aspire to not only ensure the team’s players feel free to speak out but that the players also know the organization supports them.