Palmer touched by Locust Grove’s story

Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) gets a handshake from Atlanta tight end Michael Palmer (81) after kicking a field goal against Jacksonville. Associated Press

Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) gets a handshake from Atlanta tight end Michael Palmer (81) after kicking a field goal against Jacksonville. Associated Press

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons tight end Michael Palmer, moved by the story of the Locust Grove High School football team, will host them for the exhibition game against the Baltimore Ravens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Georgia Dome.

After learning of the passing of Locust Groves football player, Forest Jones, Palmer sent them a video message inviting them to the game and offered some words of encouragement.

Palmer, who played at Parkview and Clemson, is from Stone Mountain. The team will have a dinner and receive tickets to the game.

“I know these young guys have been going through a tremendously difficult time over the past few weeks,” Palmer said in a statement. “I have never lost a teammate before, but I have dealt with the loss of someone I was very close with.

“I know how difficult it is and I thought by giving this team an opportunity to come to one of our games it may help them have some fun and bond as a team. I’m sure there are a bunch of kids on the team who have never been to the Georgia Dome before or to an NFL game. I feel that I’m in a position to give back as a professional athlete. I’m glad that I can jump in and make a difference.”

Palmer also reached out to the Fitzgerald High School football team in Ben Hill County , Georgia who also suffered the loss of teammate D.J. Searcy to provide the same opportunity. Due to a scheduling conflict, Fitzgerald High is unable to attend, but did receive a special video message from Palmer.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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8 comments Add your comment


August 31st, 2011
2:50 pm

Top of your game Darryl


August 31st, 2011
2:50 pm

Very cool story. A very humble guy indeed.


August 31st, 2011
2:56 pm

I would like to see more stories like this.



August 31st, 2011
2:57 pm

BTW……..good afternoon Led.


August 31st, 2011
5:14 pm

It is so nice to hear something good from an NFL player for a change. Bless you Michael Palmer!!!


September 1st, 2011
7:00 am

No controversy, no band news, very few blogs. It’s too bad someone can do this for not just 1 but 2 teams and it gets only a handful of comments and one is someone bitching about the name being mis spelled. I don’t think there was dis respect intended.

Thanks MP81 for reminding us of some pro athletes that still remember how they were raised and make the news for the right reasons.


September 1st, 2011
8:41 am

I’m glad to have guys like this represent the falcons. Also, Palmer is probably just making league minimum (still a lot, I know), and still wanted to buy tickets and dinner for this team…

Looks like he’s going to be a great player as well. Keep it up, Palmer and thank you!


September 1st, 2011
1:00 pm

Now thats a role model kids need to look up to! True superstar in my book!