Falcons, Lions link arms during national anthem

Grady Jarrett and Dontari Poe take a knee during the playing of the national anthem prior to the start of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 24, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan.


DETROIT, MI — The Falcons beat the Detroit Lions on the road 30-26, bringing them 3-0 this season.

A clock rule ended the game after a touchdown by the Lions was reversed.

Before kickoff, both teams stood linking arms on the sidelines to “celebrate [our] differences,” the announcer said before Rico LaVelle sang the national anthem.

Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank linked arms with Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman. Detroit Lions’ owner, Martha Firestone Ford, stood with her arms linked with the players.

LaVelle, singer and Detroit native, waited until the end of the national anthem to kneel.

Falcons fans we spoke with were split on what the demonstration meant to them.

"It feels like you're not showing full appreciation to what the flag stands for," said sports fan Brandon Thomas told Channel 2's Matt Johnson.

"I don't think they're disrespecting, they're just not pledging for what it stands for, and it's not justice at all," said sports fan Melissa Scott.

Three NFL teams skipped the national anthem all together.

Though two Falcons players kneeled, their collective statement resonated with some fans who disagree with kneeling.

"I really like the way the Falcons have done it and some other teams, we all sort of stand united," said sports fan Andy Hansel.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.