As the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players protesting the national anthem continues to evolve, the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints had a different strategy to bring attention to the issues facing the country.
Before their game in New Orleans on Monday night, all the players for both teams stood for the national anthem. After the anthem was over, the teams met at midfield and formed a circle, linking arms and holding hands. The players and coaches then had a moment of silence to recognize the recent police shootings and protests in Charlotte, N.C., and Tulsa, Okla.
— Ricardo LeCompte (@RLeCompteWYFF) September 27, 2016
Falcons and Saints joining hands after the anthem. pic.twitter.com/VMK9gLZR0V
— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) September 27, 2016
Former Alabama RB Mark Ingram, who plays for the Saints, said he supported the protests of Kaepernick and other NFL players, but that he was sad their actions were resulting in more division in the country.
He said the teams planned the tribute to be symbol of unity, and he said he thought it was a “strong statement.”
Mark Ingram shared some heartfelt thoughts on players protesting the National Anthem and what the Saints and Falcons did Monday night. pic.twitter.com/wIKGTACCRV
— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) September 27, 2016