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Atlanta Falcons in training
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Fans Shocked By Atlanta Falcons' Veterans Day Gesture (Photos)

Atlanta Falcons in training

Fans were surprised to see what the NFL's Atlanta Falcons did on Veterans Day weekend to show their support to those who have served.

The Falcons announced in a video on their Twitter page that each player's helmet would feature a decal with the initials of a fallen soldier because "it's bigger than us," reports Independent Journal Review.

Head coach Dan Quinn said the gesture is "our way to honor fallen heroes for families that we want to show and demonstrate our respect to ... On that day we wanted to let their families know that we're playing for their fallen hero."

Falcons punter Matt Bosher shared a photo of his helmet, along with a photo of William "Billy" Koprince Jr., who was killed in action in Iraq, on his Instagram page, writing that he was "proud" to play for him and his "amazing mother and father."

"Thank you for everything your family has given to our beautiful nation," Bosher wrote. "Here is to keeping his amazing memory and ultimate sacrifice alive!"

Quarterback Matt Ryan wore the initials of Capt. Joshua Byers, who also died while serving in Iraq.

"He was known for making his soldiers laugh and providing morale boosts despite the chaos of war around them," Ryan said in a video shared on his Instagram page.

Another video shared by the Falcons on Twitter showed players walking out onto the field, showing the white stickers on the back of their helmets which featured the initials of the veteran to whom they each paid tribute.

The Falcons are also reportedly teaming up with AT&T to present the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors with a donation of $100,000. The organization supports the grieving families of fallen members of our military.

The Falcons' gesture comes following protests by a number of NFL players, in which they took a knee during the national anthem. According to Fox News, the majority of players who took part in the protests chose not to for the Veterans Day game. Instead, players throughout the league paid tribute to veterans.

Tennessee Titans receiver Rishard Matthews reportedly entered the field holding hands with soldiers. He stood with his teammates for the national anthem for the first time since NFL players were criticized by President Donald Trump for kneeling during the anthem.

The Seattle Seahawks all stood for the national anthem while a large American flag was laid onto the field. A number of team members have taken a knee for the national anthem in previous weeks.

Sources: Independent Journal ReviewFox News / Featured Image: Thomson200/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Atlanta Falcons/Twitter via IJ Review, Matt Bosher/Instagram via IJ Review

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