Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United retire Hank Aaron’s No. 44 for 2021 season

The Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United announced Friday that they will retire Hank Aaron’s No. 44 for the 2021 season.

The legendary Braves player died Friday morning at age 86.

“When you look at icons of Atlanta and the sport of baseball, Hank Aaron is undoubtedly included in that group,” Falcons President & CEO Rich McKay said in a statement. “But he was more than an icon in sports, he was an icon off the field as well in how he carried himself and treated others.

McKay called Aaron a “true icon” and a “great ambassador” to the game of baseball and to the city of Atlanta as a whole.

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“And yet, when you encountered him, he always made you feel special,” McKay said.

Atlanta United’s two teams will also retire No. 44 for the season.

“He was an American hero, a trailblazer and arguably Atlanta’s greatest sports icon,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said. The impact he had on our city, our country and the sports world is immeasurable.”

The Atlanta Braves retired the No. 44 in 1977.

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