Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Protest at Vikings game draws national attention

MinnPost photo by Jim Walsh

So how did The Washington Post handle the story of the protests before yesterday’s Vikings game? John Woodrow Cox says, “A group of Native Americans stood outside the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium in a plaza built as a tribute to 11 of the state’s tribes. A man in the middle held up a sign painted in bold black letters: ‘RACIST.’ For more than an hour Sunday, hundreds of Washington Redskins fans on their way to the game against the Minnesota Vikings shuffled past the voices of condemnation, some with their Redskins’ caps stuffed in their pockets and their jerseys covered by zipped up jackets.”

At NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk, Mike Florio writes, “But an unprecedented protest apparently is unfolding in Minnesota against the Washington name. The protest is ‘bigger than I expected,’ notes Tom Pelissero of USA Today on Twitter.  Mike Wise of the Washington Post, a leading voice in opposition to the team name, writes that ‘[t]his is the scene of the largest ever physical gathering against the Wash. NFL team.’ Wise’s twitter feed has plenty of photos and quotes that will serve as a reminder that the issue, which has been simmering throughout much of the season, isn’t going away.”

For the New York Times, Pat Borzi writes, “On Sunday, Snyder watched from the visiting owner’s box with three security guards near the door. Tony Wyllie, a team spokesman, declined to expand on a statement released last week: ‘Whatever the politics going on outside the stadium will happen outside the stadium.’” Because wherever you go, there you are.

In the Strib, Dee DePass and Randy Furst report, “Outside the stadium, Paul Spies, 48, was sporting a Vikings sweatshirt, but was there to cheer on the demonstrators. ‘I bleed purple but reject racism,’ he said. At the same time, Nick Hjelden, a Vikings fan and Chippewa tribal member from North Dakota, called the protest ‘ridiculous,’ adding, ‘I don’t find [the name] to be offensive. Everyone finds anything offensive these days.’ Among Indians present Sunday, he was clearly in the minority.”

Elsewhere in the lives of our football heroes: Adam Schefter at ESPN says, “Adrian Peterson and his representatives have been in talks to reach a plea agreement in his child-abuse case in Texas that could be done as early as Tuesday, sources close to the situation tell ESPN. If Peterson were able to reach a plea agreement, then the immediate question would become when he would be allowed to return to work. For this there is no concrete answer, as the case is unprecedented. To date, the NFL has shown no willingness to allow Peterson to be removed from the commissioner’s exempt list and to return to work. But if and when Peterson reaches a plea deal, the conversation and the focus on this situation is going to heat up dramatically.” You can imagine the howls of “the faithful” if by some miracle the Vikings have a shot at the play-offs.

This is how you become a poster child. Says Paul Walsh of the Strib, “A 17-year-old driver has been charged with a felony for allegedly checking a text message and causing a crash at an Eagan intersection that left a 15-month-old boy in the other vehicle with a traumatic brain injury. … Police arrived at the intersection about 8:40 a.m. and found two cars with front-end damage. The teenage driver told police she was heading to school on three hours of sleep. She also said she was looking at her phone and reading a text message when she made a left turn from eastbound Diffley Road onto Nicols Road and struck an oncoming car.”

MinnPost Online Auction

The auction is live!

One-of-a-kind items, spa packages, concert and theater tickets, Starbucks beans, chocolate, wine, restaurant certificates, books, getaways and more!

Register and start bidding

In politics — and can Wednesday come too soon? — Mike McFadden smells coordination. The AP reports, “Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Mike McFadden is suggesting Sen. Al Franken may have broken election law by coordinating with a political action committee. At issue is a pair ads — one released by Franken and a pro-Franken spot from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC — that appear to use some of the same video footage of the freshman Democrat. McFadden’s campaign spokesman Tom Erickson says the coincidence is suspicious.”

From yesterday’s debate Doug Belden of the PiPress says, “Republican Mike McFadden attacked incumbent Democrat Al Franken, accusing him of representing the worst of hyper-partisanship gripping Washington, while Franken defended his record and charged McFadden with distorting the facts and taking easy shots from the sidelines. … McFadden said he wants to direct federal money toward charter schools in public school districts that are failing. Franken said some charters have failed as well, and he said his priority is making sure public schools get the resources they need. He said his focus would be on early childhood education.”

Finally, a classic from Ol’ Sooch. In the PiPress, Joe Soucheray has had it, dammit, with these rich liberals ripping honest job-creators. “Money certainly has been the villainous elephant in the room during another midterm bombardment of horrifically childish political advertising. Democrats have used every trick in the book to paint their Republican opponents as blue blazer-wearing Chatsworth Osborne Juniors … . Multimillionaire Alan Stuart Franken tells college students and college graduates that they should be able to refinance their college loans. Well, he will need taxpayer revenue to accomplish that scam, and this country doesn’t get much tax revenue from people who don’t work hard, don’t produce, don’t accumulate and don’t pay high taxes, but who cheer when multimillionaire Alan Stuart Franken’s bus pulls up to another meeting of the friendlies. In what might be a first in breaking the template of what readers have come to think of newspapers, the Pioneer Press has endorsed Stewart Mills, Jeff Johnson and Mike McFadden. Somebody in one of the offices upstairs has certainly come to their senses.” The biggest surprise is that there are any offices left up there.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (16)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 11/03/2014 - 07:21 am.


    I saw a report a couple of months ago that both parties have taken advantage of a loophole in the “non-coordination” rule by using something called “B-roll footage”. Apparently the way it works is that all sorts of video gets posted to Youtube – just “out there” where anyone can pick it up and use it. And so the Super-Pacs do just that. Hard to argue “coordination” when the stuff is out there where anyone can use it, I suppose (I’m not pretending to have adopted a position on this – just pointing out that it’s been going on for some time now).

    Not knowing anything about the ads in question, I don’t know if they have their origin in publicly-available B-roll footage. But it sounds as if they might have.

    So given the fact that this has been going on for some time and that apparently no one has seen fit to challenge it yet, am I the only one that finds the “day before the election” timing of McFadden’s FEC complaint filing just a TAD bit suspicious? (Not that I’m surprised . . . . . . . )

    • Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 11/03/2014 - 07:56 am.

      And, if it was the same article I read, the lead example was footage from McConnell’s campaign that a super-PAC supporting him downloaded and used. Though I’m sure this practice is one of the few bi-partisan activities remaining.

      • Submitted by Pat Berg on 11/03/2014 - 08:06 am.

        McFadden’s accusation

        In the event that McFadden’s accusation might have the effect of bringing this practice to an end, I wonder how many on BOTH sides will become more than a little miffed at him?

    • Submitted by E Gamauf on 11/03/2014 - 08:11 am.

      “He has a suspicion” is just casting vague aspersions

      “…I’m just saying’…” at the 11th hour.
      Is one of the most convenient ways to cast innuendo & mud, without ever having to back it up.

      McFadden’s team knows they have not won hearts & minds in Minnesota.
      They’re losing & this is their tactic.

  2. Submitted by Pat Brady on 11/03/2014 - 08:04 am.

    Who knew?

    I reduced my subscription to Sunday only for the PP to still read the ads and obits.
    Newpapers still endorse candidates, but they have become a thin slice of what one needs to make an intelligent decision about poltical candidates.

  3. Submitted by E Gamauf on 11/03/2014 - 08:32 am.

    On the subject of Offensive Team Names

    There was a good program on PBS about LaDonna Harris on Sunday that a lot of people needed to watch.

    The “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” mindset is a personal convenience for people who do no care about the issue.

    People have a right to protest & speak their mind, even if one guy from North Dakota thinks its ridiculous.

  4. Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 11/03/2014 - 08:37 am.

    It’s unfortunate….

    That the Washington Redskin fans had to disguise their allegiances by putting their caps in their pockets and covering their jerseys for fear of their own safety. So much for a peaceful protest.

    I find it interesting that in the photo above, 4 out of 6 protesters could be mistaken for Redskin fans by the colors they are wearing.

    • Submitted by E Gamauf on 11/03/2014 - 09:06 am.

      The team was afraid??? The fans too?

      Oh really. You seem to be implying that this protest was violent.
      Do you have a quote from a player cowering in fear? Or a fan?

      You don’t think it just that the team didn’t want to damage the brand by being in blatant defiance?
      Or that perhaps, some of the team members & fans might be in partial sympathy with the protestors?

      Its awkward for people who prefer that team, but maybe agree about the name.

    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 11/03/2014 - 09:03 am.

      What’s unfortunate is that you are implying that protests were violent, when there is no evidence it was.

      The protest was entirely non-violent.

      That wasn’t ‘fear’ that made those people hide their racist apparel. It was shame.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/03/2014 - 01:42 pm.


        I can’t help but think that there are those who wanted the protests to be violent, so they could gripe about how the politically correct protesters were so mean to them.

        Those who hoped for violence probably weren’t there, but were sitting safely away, barbed comments ready.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 11/03/2014 - 12:45 pm.

      Fear of their own safety?

      Do you know anything about the NFL? Ever been to any other stadiums in the country? I have…go to Philly with an opposing team’s hat on…Oakland…Meadowlands. Redskin fans had nothing to fear here, but fans of other teams do at other stadiums just by showing up. That’s an NFL issue, not an indictment of a protest.

      • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 11/03/2014 - 03:47 pm.

        Except that…

        …how’s an Out-of-Towner, who knows the history of violence at other venues, supposed to know that here in Minnesota we’re all peacxeful and there’s nothing to be worried about?

  5. Submitted by Walt Cygan on 11/03/2014 - 09:55 am.


    The t-shirts being worn in the photo say things like “Rethink”, “Replace” and “Rename”.

    No one was intimidated during the protest. No one was fearful. If they were embarrassed to be seen in Washington apparel, I think they may have learned something.

  6. Submitted by Walt Cygan on 11/03/2014 - 10:03 am.

    I was there

    The march was entirely peaceful. We heard comments from Vikings fans calling us “idiots”. Protesters told people people wearing Washington football team apparel that “We are not your mascots.” That was as aggressive as the march and rally got.

    I’ve seen some comments on other sites that the marchers were largely non-Indian. That is false. I marched from East Franklin to the stadium with a group of about 1500 people that was about 2/3 Indian. It was a beautiful example of a peaceful protest that came from the hearts of people wanting some respect.

  7. Submitted by E Gamauf on 11/04/2014 - 05:45 am.

    Washington Invaders? Colonists? Gridlocks?

    That’s an idea – rename the Washington team contest.
    I doubt it works, but its worth a little noise.

    Gridlocks on the Grid Iron.
    Named primarily for the guys blocking everything now.

Leave a Reply