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Anthem singer in Detroit takes knee while singing

Protests surfaced during the national anthem across all of the NFL’s early Sunday games, largely in response to President Trump’s sharp criticism of the league and its players. Across the league, players and owners knelt or locked arms in solidarity. In Detroit, however, prior to Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, the anthem singer took a statement one step further:

Rico Lavelle, a Detroit singer, finished his version of the anthem by taking a knee and raising a fist. The protests during the anthem have been focused on raising awareness for racial injustice and police brutality, but they’ve also drawn severe criticism and backlash from fans. Media on-site reported boos throughout Ford Field before and after the anthem.

On the sideline, Lions team owner Martha Ford locked arms with head coach Jim Caldwell, while Falcons owner Arthur Blank locked arms with Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones.

Detroit anthem singer Rico Lavelle (via screenshot)

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.