Every football enthusiast knew about how the football controversy started. When the backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel while the national anthem is being played as his protest towards police brutality and racial discrimination in America, what he did start a trend. It also evolved quickly and this protest has already involved many players who felt the same way.
The pregame ceremony is turning to be a protest for many players and fans across the country are starting to turn their televisions off and just watch other programs and sports instead which matched their level of respect for America and the military men and women who risked their lives for our freedom.
Huge names in the advertising agencies also pulled their funding from the NFL. the teams started selling their tickets for as little as $2 just to bribe their fans to come and fill the empty stands. While the NFL has not bottomed out yet, many team owners are scared that this drastic downward trend will not be sustainable for long. It seems like the NFL owners and the anthem protesters have not come to terms yet and try to figure out the solution regarding this issue. Many teams have failed to show their fans that they care for the military service people and also the American patriotism, but there are also teams who are actively demonstrating their loyalty to the military.
Minnesota Vikings is an organization that has created a moving tribute to the American soldiers that is worthy to watch. They have touched so many lives and their videos are now going viral. One of the first videos that they posted in October was released during the NFL season and was at the height of the controversy.
The Marine Corp Recruiting Station Twin Cities shared this video on Facebook and instantly, it received more than two million hits!
The video shows two United States Marines who are in full uniform, standing while the national anthem played at the Viking’s football arena. However, these marines were not standing to protect the crowd; they have a patriotic purpose. The organization explained that the marines stand guard during the Minnesota Vikings game over two empty seats symbolizing those servicemen who became prisoners of the war or those that are missing in action.
These marines silently stood guard over these empty chairs at the NFL game to show that they were thinking of these missing in combat and those who are held in the military prison. This is a ritual to rival the grace and patriotism of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. These brave soldiers wanted the Americans to always remember that the servicemen and women do not have the luxury of watching a football game, especially those who are missing in action and those who have not returned home from duty until today.
Vikings.com shared that they started this tribute since 2016 when Kaepernick was continuously protesting the anthem. According to the website, for every Vikings game, one unfilled seat that is permanently covered in black and is located in section V8 will always be guarded by military members. These seats are decorated with the POW/MIA logo and are set in front of the seals of the five branches of the United States Military. It honors military personnel who are missing and unaccounted-for from all conflicts which include the 1,618 from the Vietnam war.