Twenty years after his tragic passing, Korey Stringer will be honored by the franchise he called home for all six of his exemplary NFL seasons.
The Minnesota Vikings will commemorate Stringer, a Vikings Ring of Honor member, prior to Saturday night's practice at TCO Stadium.
Stringer, a first-round draft choice and Pro Bowl offensive tackle, died on Aug. 1, 2001, after he collapsed at practice a day prior due to exertional heat stroke. Stringer's death forever changed the sport from the youth level to the professional level in terms of how players were monitored for hydration and heat condition.
The Vikings will "honor his memory with a videoboard tribute and a moment of silence before the team practice," per the team release. His jersey No. 77, which is retired, will also be painted on the field.
In addition, the Vikings announced they have joined with NFL Foundation and the Korey Stringer Institute to form the Korey and Kelci Stringer Athletic Training Scholarship, beginning with an endowment of $50,000. It will provide an annual scholarship for athletic training students in partnership with the National Athletic Training Association (NATA) Research and Education Foundation.
"This time comes with great honor and respect for those who have committed themselves to seeing through our dreams and hopes of not only providing the knowledge that this is a preventable illness, but also helping to save people's lives. The culture of football has and is continuing to be positively transformed," Kelci Stringer and Korey Stringer institute chairman Jimmy Gould said in a joint statement.