“We want to be able to focus on these issues and we’re all working together in that regard and if we turn this into a political kind of football, if you will, it’s not healthy because that becomes a real distraction to the work we’re trying to do.”
The story of the Falcons' involvement in the Atlanta area over the past three months comes after NFL owners created a league rule during meetings last month in Atlanta requiring players to stand for the national anthem in reaction to player protests of social injustice in the last two seasons.
» Also: Read the new policy
The Falcons video detailed how Blank, coach Dan Quinn and 17 players spent time on ride-alongs with the Atlanta police officers and learning the pressure of being a police officer in simulations.
“You won’t understand until you’re in a certain situation,” Falcons running back Devonta Freeman said. “Those guys go through a lot as policemen and I respect it because it’s hard. You can sometimes misjudge.”
Players Mohamed Sanu Jr., Brian Poole and Grady Jarrett also spent time with children from Atlanta area schools and the Boys and Girls Club to help facilitate conversation with police officers.