Prince, who died Thursday at age 57, was a noted sports fan
Prince treated the Minnesota Lynx to a private concert the team won the WNBA title in 2015
Prince played basketball in junior high school
It wasn’t just about music for Prince, who was from Minnesota and performed an unforgettable halftime performance at Super Bowl XLI at Dolphin Stadium in Miami in 2007. He also was a sports fan.
In 2010, he released a song about the Minnesota Vikings called “Purple and Gold.” It was written ahead of the Vikings’ NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints, which Minnesota lost.
A sample of the lyrics:
We are the ones who have now come again
And walk upon water like solid ground
As we approach the throne we won’t bow down
This time we won’t be denied
Raise every voice and let it be known
In the name of the purple and gold
We come in the name of the purple and gold
All of the odds are in our favor
No prediction two bold
We are the truth if the truth can be told
Long reign the purple and gold
The Vikings released a statement Thursday, saying they are “shocked and saddened” by Prince’s death.
“As one of the most influential music icons, Prince was an incredible representative of Minnesota who helped put Minneapolis-St. Paul on the map,” the statement said. “He was a brilliant performer and a better person. We will forever be proud and grateful that he considered himself a Vikings fan.”
Prince attended a Golden State Warriors game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 3.
“I was shocked and saddened to hear the news of Prince’s death today, especially after hosting him at a game recently at Oracle Arena,” Warriors owner Joe Lacob said. “That night was a real honor for me and, looking back, he appeared to be doing well and was in great spirits. From everyone in the Warriors’ organization, our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and millions of fans during this difficult time. We lost a true icon in the entertainment business.”
Prince was seen at the French Open in 2014 watching Rafael Nadal, which generated a lot of buzz at the time.
Last year, he threw a surprise private concert for the Minnesota Lynx, who had won the WNBA championship.
Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen tweeted Thursday about that experience.
“I’ll never forget the explosion in the locker room when we found out he was performing for us after game 5 last season,” Whalen tweeted. “I will always be grateful for his generosity that evening to perform for us. It was truly amazing.”
“Today we lost a local icon, legend and musical innovator,” Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor said in a statement Thursday. “Prince represented Minnesota with grace, passion and a hunger for helping others. Over the years he became a huge Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx fan, attending numerous games and even treating our Lynx players and staff with a private concert at Paisley Park after winning the WNBA Championship this past fall. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy, especially the Prince family.”
The Minnesota Twins changed their Twitter profile to purple on Thursday. The team was in Milwaukee playing the Brewers, but organization tweeted a photo of Target Field, saying, “Fitting that it’s raining in Minneapolis today.”
The Minnesota Wild also paid tribute.
Prince participated in sports when he was younger. A photo of Prince in junior high school went viral last year. Libor Jany of the Minneapolis Star Tribune tweeted out the photo from Prince’s playing days, referencing a sketch from Dave Chappelle’s Comedy Central show that highlighted Prince’s skills, saying “Chappelle was right.”