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Vikings to face Washington Redskins, rally protesting Washington mascot expected

Updated: October 24, 2019 09:52 AM

The Minnesota Vikings will attempt to keep a winning streak alive Thursday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Vikings play the Washington Redskins at 7:20 p.m.

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It's the first matchup between Kirk Cousins and his former team as well as with some former Vikings, including Adrian Peterson and Case Keenum. 

Unfortunately for the Vikings, they will be without Adam Thielen who was hurt last week making a catch in the end zone.

Ahead of the game, there will be a march and rally to protest Washington's team name.

Thousands of people are expected to surround the stadium during the "Not Your Mascot" rally. Protesters say the Washington Redskins mascot is offense and degrading to Native Americans.

Thursday night's rally isn't the first time a protest like this has happened in the Twin Cities.

Five years ago, 4,000 people gathered outside of the Vikings football stadium, calling on Washington to change its name.

That march took place outside of TCF Bank Stadium.

Protesters have been working with the Vikings to make sure the event ahead of Thursday night's game goes smoothly.

People supporting Washington's mascot are also expected to hold a counter-rally.

Redskins team owner Dan Snyder has spoken about the debate in the past. Snyder said the mascot would never change and that the nickname shows honor and respect for the tribes.

The Minnesota Vikings released the following statement regarding the rally:

The Minnesota Vikings recognize the sensitivity of this issue. Minnesota has a significant Native American population and our franchise has strong, positive relationships with several tribal nations and Native American leaders within the state.

We have maintained an ongoing and respectful dialogue with the Native American community, as well as with other state leaders, on this matter and continue to participate in conversations regarding tonight's game. 

In terms of in-game elements, we are obligated as a member of the NFL to operate and market the game as we would any other Vikings home game. 

We respect and support our local community voices having an opportunity to be heard. As with all of our games, our primary focus will be on providing a positive game day experience for Vikings fans. We look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that successful game experience.

The march will start at Peavey Park at 4 p.m., followed by a rally outside of the stadium at 5 p.m.

Organizers say more than 20 well-known national and local leaders will speak at the event.

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