As the Vikings prepared to take the field on Sunday, dozens of protesters took a knee outside of US Bank Stadium.
The rally was meant to bring awareness to police violence and racial oppression, a Facebook page created for the event says. The page cited the police killings of Philando Castile, Jamar Clarke, Terrence Franklin, and Justine Damond.
"The taking of a knee by Colin Kaepernick to protest police violence and racist oppression in the US has sparked a national effort to address the issue by bringing attention to it," the page says. "Lets take advantage of this national opening to lend our voice to the just chorus demanding justice and end to police violence."
According to the Star Tribune, about 50 protesters kneeled during the national anthem. They also chanted and waved cardboard signs with messages like “Got privilege?” and “Stop pretending your racism is patriotism,” the paper says.
There are several videos of the demonstration here.
Many Vikings fans making their way into the stadium for the game ignored the protesters, organizer Mel Reeves wrote in a Facebook post, but some people even joined in, while others shouted profanities or gave a thumbs down sign.
That's not very surprising, considering how "taking a knee" has become a major debate in America. Last month, President Donald Trump said people should boycott the NFL until players stop kneeling during the national anthem.
In an interview earlier Sunday, former Vikings Pro Bowl center Matt Birk said if he were NFL commissioner, all players would stand for the national anthem.
But the NFL has stood up for players' right to protest in the past, and earlier this week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that although the league wants players to stand for the anthem, it won’t be forcing them to do so with any rule change.
Reeves says the movement has helped keep the issue of police violence in the national spotlight.
"This isn't about the Vikings," Reeves told MPR. "It's not about the flag, it's not about the anthem, it's simply about trying to bring attention to this national problem."
Activists in other major cities like Boston and Baltimore held similar protests, Kare 11 says.
"See you November 18," Reeves said in his Facebook post, implying that protesters will continue demonstrations outside the stadium during home games this season.