MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WLAX/WEUX) – Packers football is back! After a slow start, the Green Bay Packers dominated the Minnesota Vikings in route to a 43-34 victory. We will have those highlights coming up later in sports, but first we turn our attention to a special moment from today’s game.
This edition of the Packers-Vikings was quite different than any other meeting in the 60 rivalry between the two teams. Justus Cleveland has more on today’s unique matchup in Minneapolis.
The packers get the win here at US Bank Stadium, but that victory just part of the story of today’s game.
The game played without any fans amidst the pandemic and the strong memory of George Floyd here in the twin cities and the social justice campaigns his death started.
The Vikings had a moment of unity pregame in honor of George Floyd, while the packers chose to stay in the locker room during the playing of the National Anthem and lift every voice and sing to not distract from their message that they stand united for racial justice and social equality.
“Coach always talks about team first. That is something as a team, we all wanted to do, and we stood together and stuck by it,” said Packers Defensive Back, Jaire Alexander.
Packers Wide Receiver, Devante Adams said, “It kept the focus on what it was because if you get out there and guys kneeling, and guys are not, and it gets hijacked. We didn’t anybody to take off with it and give a new meaning to what we were trying to do.”
As for playing in an empty stadium, the Packers say it was a unique atmosphere.
Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said, “I think it was one of the strangest experiences I have had in the NFL. To be in a stadium like this and have some memories of some really rockin’ times.”
“I think about last year, we are playing for the division and how electric that atmosphere was. The first time we opened the stadium up a few years ago as well and the noise this place can generate. It was a lot different, strange.”
Matt Lafleur, Packers Head Coach, said, “This is one of the toughest buildings to play in the National Football League, there is no question about it. The fans here are extremely loud and they support their team. It was different, it felt different when you went out there in pregame and there is nobody around.”
As somebody who has covered this rivalry game many times, today was a surreal experience but one we will likely have to get used to this season in the NFL. For First News at Nine, I am Justus Cleveland.