A rally formed outside U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis just before game time Sunday, with a small group of protesters carrying “Black Lives Matter” signs. The rally was timed as 65,000 fans streamed into the stadium ahead of game between the Vikings and Tampa Bay.
The action followed President Donald Trump’s harsh criticism on Friday and Saturday of some black NFL and NBA players who have declined to stand during the playing of the national anthem before games. Trump did not single out any Vikings players, but he did call on NFL owners to fire players who refused to stand during the playing of the anthem.
On Saturday, Trump withdrew a White House invitation for NBA star Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Several players, including superstar LeBron James, fired back at Trump on Twitter and elsewhere.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called Trump’s comments “divisive.”