Falcons coaches, players take part in peaceful Atlanta protest

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Falcons head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff were among the large crowd that participated in a peaceful protest down West Paces Ferry Road to the governor's mansion on Sunday.

The event, organized by Buckhead for Black Lives, a "black led student organization focused on addressing racial injustices and prejudice in our community," was one of several peaceful protests held in and around Atlanta over the weekend. Several Falcons players joined Quinn and Dimitroff in the march, including safety and team captain Ricardo Allen, linebacker LaRoy Reynolds and rookie linebacker Mykal Walker.

The Falcons have been working towards shining a light on social issues for several offseasons. In 2018, a group of players formed a social justice committee, which seeks to tackle a far-ranging spectrum of social issues such as police-community relations and engaging in honest dialogue with local youth centers.

In supporting the peaceful protest on Sunday, the Falcons players and coaches wanted to lend their voices to yet another issue involving social justice.

"What I've learned about leadership is that it is about other people and we have to hold ourselves accountable to help those around us," Quinn said. "That's what I wanted to do today."

Also among the diverse group of protesters were assistant coaches Doug Mallory and Bernie Parmalee as well as a number of Falcons staff members.

The march included chants such as "No justice, No peace!" and "Say his name, George Floyd. Say her name, Breonna Taylor." Upon arriving at the governor's mansion, protesters gathered for speeches from some of the event's leaders as well as a momentary kneeling in memory of those who have lost their lives.

"I've always believed we are all created equal and should be treated as such but have passively held back my voice," Dimitroff said of joining the event. "I've decided it's time for me to step up and take action."

Marching is not the only way the Falcons have shown support for those tackling social justice issues, including police brutality. Quarterback Matt Ryan set up a GoFundMe page aimed at improving the lives of people of color in the Atlanta community, and he kicked off the fundraising with a $500,000 donation. Quinn joined in the fundraising with a $25,000 donation, Dimitroff donated another $10,000 and offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has given $5,000 to the cause.

Members of the Atlanta Falcons organization including Dan Quinn and Ricardo Allen took to the streets of Buckhead Sunday for the Buckhead4BlackLives march to raise awareness for social justice across Atlanta and beyond.

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