On Tuesday, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd last Memorial Day. Chauvin was taken into custody, and will be sentenced in the coming weeks.
Just after the verdict was announced, the Minnesota Vikings released the following statement.
“The past year following George Floyd’s death has been extremely painful for the Minnesota community, particularly for the state’s Black residents. While today’s decision does not minimize the anguish or solve the intolerable issues of racism and hate, we hope it can mark the beginning of community healing.
“Now, more than ever, it is crucial to respectfully listen, communicate, and engage in order for us to move toward an equitable society. We must address the unacceptable continued violence and hate toward People of Color and commit to using our individual and collective voices to end the divisiveness and racial injustice.
“Our work is just beginning. Our commitment is unwavering. As an organization, we will build upon the foundation we have already established in the following critical areas: reducing socioeconomic disparities, implementing educational curriculum on Racism and Black history, and advocating for law enforcement and criminal justice reform. We will continue to be agents for positive, transformational, and sustainable change.”
In 2018, the Vikings organization established a Social Justice Committee, and expended those efforts after Floyd’s death. Last June, the team announced that Meredith “Mimi” Kol-Balfour was the first recipient of the George Floyd Legacy Scholarship. The Wilf family, owners of the team, have committed $5 million to organizations that work for social justice.