A solidarity protest against police brutality was held in Atlanta following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis. Late Friday, those protests passed the College Football Hall of Fame, where people proceeded to damage the building.
Windows were reportedly smashed with a variety of large objects that apparently included trash cans, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. After the windows were broken, some proceeded to grab stuff from inside before cops showed up to stop things. As video from the aftermath demonstrates, it seems that the portion of the facility that was broken into was the gift shop.
"First and foremost, our hearts go out to the friends and family of George Floyd," CEO of the College Football Hall of Fame Kimberly Beaudin said. "We support the peaceful protests that honor his memory but unfortunately, they deteriorated into chaos and disorder. We are heartbroken to see the damage to our city and the Hall of Fame.
"As our Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said… We are better than this, better than this as a city, and better than this as a country. In the coming days and weeks, we'll work to pick up the pieces, to build back the sacred walls that housed memories and honored those who played the game many of whom fought these same injustices throughout their storied careers."
The Hall of Fame's Twitter account released an additional statement on Twitter on Saturday. "Today we began the process of picking up the pieces and repairing what was lost at the College Football Hall of Fame. Thankfully our legendary artifacts and treasures remain, everything else we can replace. We look forward to welcoming you back soon!"
Photos and videos from the incident were posted on Twitter throughout Friday night.
Also damaged was a Chick-fil-A restaurant next door to the museum.
The hall was opened in 2014 to much fanfare, as its remodeling resulted in a $68 million building that sits at 94,256 square feet in size. Other amenities inside the building include about 50,000 square feet of space meant for events and exhibits, interactive displays and a miniature interactive football field that is 45 yards long.
The company that operates the College Football Hall of Fame is Atlanta Hall Management, Inc, which reported over $41 million in net assets through the fiscal year ending on March 18.