Leadership & Culture, Performance | Jun 12, 2020
The Minnesota Vikings GM discusses racism, social injustice, and his team's attempts to operate in this time of pandemic.

Rick Spielman recalls watching the television reports that followed the killing of George Floyd.

“I remember sitting there with my wife watching the news as it happens and we both have tears coming down our eyes,” says the Minnesota Vikings General Manager.

“She looks over to me and she says, ‘honey, that could have been one of our children.'”

Spielman and his wife have adopted six African American children. “As a white father raising African-American kids, I truly have to ask myself how do I explain this and why does this continue to go on?”

The Minneapolis-based Vikings’ US Bank Stadium is less than three miles from the spot where Floyd died and, as Spielman tells At Home With Leaders, he recognises the team’s obligation to serve its community, fight racism, and defend fundamental human rights.

“With all the adversity, not only with the pandemic, but the social injustice: what can we do to help? What part can we play with our platform to try and make change?” he tells co-hosts Jimmy Worrall, the Founder and CEO of Leaders, and Steve Gera, the CEO of Gains Group, which helps some of sport’s greatest teams and athletes maximise the value of their data and technology.

The agenda for today’s chat includes:

– The Vikings’ Social Justice Committee for players and coaches [6:00];

– Spielman’s efforts to organise a draft process during a pandemic [12:00];

– Steps taken to integrate and teach the Vikings’ rookies [18:30];

– How the organisation will adapt its scouting operations for the fall [27:30];

– How recent world events have changed Spielman’s decision-making process [32:00].

Jimmy Worrall: Twitter | LinkedIn

Steve Gera: Twitter | LinkedIn

Further listening:

At Home With Leaders – Emma Hayes

Listen above and subscribe today on iTunesSpotify, Stitcher and Overcast, or your chosen podcast platform.

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