Several Vikings players attend George Floyd memorial service in Minneapolis

Jack Baer

A memorial service for George Floyd was held in Minneapolis on Thursday, commemorating the man whose death in police custody last week triggered nationwide protests and calls for reform.

A dozen players from the Minnesota Vikings were in attendance, including Pro Bowlers Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph, according to Vikings team reporter Eric Smith.

“I felt like it was important,” Rudolph said according to the Star Tribune. “This is our community. This is our home. I stand for what’s right and I’m against what’s wrong.”

Rudolph reportedly organized the group attendance with running back Alexander Mattison. Former NBA veteran Stephen Jackson — a friend of Floyd and outspoken voice on his death — and University of Minnesota football head coach P.J. Fleck were also reportedly in attendance.

With Floyd’s death occurring in the Vikings’ backyard, the team was the first in the NFL to release a statement on the killing. The Vikings said they were “deeply saddened” by the death and said everyone in the community “deserves the right to feel protected and safe.”

The team’s players have been even more outspoken in the aftermath.

Two more memorial services for Floyd are planned to take place, one in his birthplace in Raeford, North Carolina, on Saturday and another in his native Houston on Monday.

Players from the Houston Texans, as well as head coach Bill O’Brien, are expected to be in attendance at the Houston service after O’Brien canceled team meetings for the day.

Al Sharpton delivered a eulogy for George Floyd at Thursday's memorial service. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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