MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Protesters made a scene outside U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday by taking a knee, withstanding a barrage of insults and obscenities in the hopes of bringing greater awareness to issues of racial inequality and police violence in America.
A group of a few dozen activists with signs reading, "END POLICE VIOLENCE" and "BLACK LIVES MATTER" mingled with tailgaters Sunday morning before kickoff, shouting chants and giving speeches through a megaphone.
"While the NFL players are taking a knee, some young people are risking their playing careers ... because they want to end police violence," activist Mel Reeves said at the event Sunday. "It is a scourge on this country. It is a real problem."
The act started with former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started out by sitting during the national anthem for a preaseason game last year and later kneeled alongside his teammates, beginning a nationwide controversy inflamed in recent weeks by comments from President Donald Trump.
The actual number of players kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games has dwindled lately, with Commissioner Roger Goodell meeting with players and owners last week to tell them he wants players to stand, but will not institute policies forcing them to do so.
"The players and the owners came to an agreement that these are not really player issues or owner issues, they're issues that affect all of us in our communities," Goodell said. "[The NFL] wanted to work together to try to address these issues."
Activists say they'll be out at the stadium for every home game--and even the Super Bowl, if possible.