More controversy is on its way for the National Football League as the season is coming to an end.
A “Take a Knee” rally will be held on Sunday outside U.S. Bank Stadium, proceeding the Vikings v. Saints playoff game.
The group called “Take a Knee Nation Twin Cities” is said to be holding the protest in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
They reportedly claim that if he were still alive, the late civil rights activist would be protesting against police violence, according to WCCO.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, commemorating the birthday of the famed reverend and peaceful activist.
The group’s Facebook page indicates that the rally will start at 2:30 p.m. local time, and should last about an hour, until the game starts at 3:40 p.m.
“Protesting at the Viking playoff game gives us a chance to take advantage of the momentum this movement has received from NFL players who have Taken A Knee to protest this injustice,” the Facebook event page read.
According to WCCO, other protests where “dozens” of people have knelt in opposition to police violence have taken place throughout the NFL season at the Minneapolis stadium, notably in memory of Justine Diamond, Jamar Clark, and Philando Castile.
Take a Knee Nation Twin Cities is also planning to host a conference on race and police violence during Super Bowl weekend in February.
The ongoing “kneeling protests” have entrenched the NFL in controversy since the 2016 – 2017 season when quarterback Colin Kaepernick, then a member of the San Francisco 49ers, knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Kaepernick reportedly claimed he was protesting what he called oppression in the U.S. against people of color, according to a 2016 article on NFL.com.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” said Kaepernick to NFL Media.
He added, “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.”
“There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder,” he continued.
Since then, many other NFL players have followed Kaepernick’s lead. The protests appear to have irritated some fans, as ticket sales have been down this season, according to CBS News.
Debates have erupted regarding whether or not players have the right to protest during a game.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) requires coaches and teammates to stand, while like the NFL, the National Hockey League (NHL) does not.
Kaepernick, meanwhile, remains an unsigned free agent.
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