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Packers to observe Juneteenth on Friday, will close offices and businesses

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Posted at 3:15 PM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 23:37:07-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) -- The Green Bay Packers announced today that it will close its offices and businesses Friday to observe Juneteenth. The Packers say this will be an annual observance for the organization.

"The Packers will be observing Juneteenth and taking the opportunity to reflect on our own roles and opportunities to further our awareness of racial injustices and inequities and what we can do to affect positive change in our communities," Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement on the Packers website.

The closure for Juneteenth includes the Packers Pro Shop.

Celebrated on June 19, Juneteenth is a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. On June 19, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, and that all remaining slaves in the state were free.

The holiday has been celebrated for years, but it's received more attention this year following the death of George Floyd. Floyd's death while in police custody sparked widespread protests and national conversations about racial inequality. In just the past few days, corporations such as Target and Nike officially made Juneteenth a company holiday.

The NFL is also making the move to observe Juneteenth. The league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, made the announcement last week in an internal memo obtained by ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Shefter.

This announcement comes on the same day that Gov. Tony Evers announced the flag that commemorates Juneteenth will be flown over the state capitol on Friday.

Kyle Hicks contributed to this report.