The Falcons and Seahawks will honor the late Congressman John Lewis Sunday by wearing white armbands featuring his initials.
Additionally, Lewis are naming the civil rights legend as an honorary captain for their first game of the season will have jersey bearing Lewis’s name on a chair near the 50-yard line.
“With everything going on right now in the world, we thought it would be best to start off with somebody as legendary as John Lewis,” Falcons free safety Ricardo Allen said. "He’s done so much for …one of our biggest things that we want to stay connected with ... is the Voting (Rights) Act. We know that John Lewis, was a big part of that and a big ready why that is a part of the world today. To be able to tie that in with our team and be able to do it with such a great man as John Lewis, someone that I’ve been blessed enough to go down and do the Selma walk with myself. I was all in for it with him.”
Lewis died in July at the age of 80, just seven months after he announced a stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Lewis was a confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and was one of the "Big Six" leaders of groups who organized the March on Washington in 1963. Two years later, Lewis led the first of three Selma to Montgomery marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama, which highlighted the desire of African-American citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote and was in defiance of segregationist repression.
Lewis was first elected to Congress in 1986 and served 17 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district he represented included most of Atlanta.