These DAPL Protesters Just Used Football To Make A Point

January 1st 2017

Willie Burnley Jr.

The most compelling action during Sundays matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank stadium didn't occur on the field, but rather in the rafters. 

Two peaceful protestors hung a large banner in the stadium that called for U.S. Bank, which sponsors the Vikings’ stadium, to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

The Banner read "US Bank, DIVEST, #NoDAPL."

According to Food and Water Watch, US Bank has invested $275,000,000 between Energy Transfer Partners, the primary builder of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and Sunoco Logistics, which is set to become its parent company. 

In order to hang the banner, the protesters, who have been identified as Karl Zimmermann and Sen Holiday, used climbing gear to hang hundreds of feet from the ground. The protest was seen by thousands in real-time on Facebook and potentially even more in the stadium.

Based on the live stream, the protesters were both taken away by security following their descent from the rafters after the game finished. 

A statement from SMG, which operates the Vikings’ stadium, read:

"Two individuals appear to have climbed over a guard rail to access the ridge truss. We immediately dispatched on-site Minneapolis police and fire departments to the scene and cleared the seating section below. We are working with all stadium partners, and our primary focus is on the safety of the fans and these two individuals. Officials are actively working to get them down safety. We will continue to update media on the situation."

ATTN: has previously reported that the Dakota Access Pipeline’s construction was halted after mass protests against the projected by Native American tribes. However, Energy Transfer Partners has called the work stoppage “purely political” and made clear their intentions to complete the project.

The tactic taken Sunday seems meant to dry up support for the crude oil pipeline by targeting its financial incentive.