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NFL honors Queen Elizabeth II with moment of silence ahead of season opener

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Pat McDonogh / USA TODAY NETWORK

The entire world is paying its respects to Queen Elizabeth II after the former English monarch passed away earlier on Thursday at the age of 96. Across the pond, pretty much every sporting event in the United Kingdom was postponed as the nation mourns the loss of a woman who served as head of state for the past seven decades.

Here in the United States, signs of respect have been thrown in the late-great monarch’s direction, too. That now includes the NFL holding a moment of silence for Queen Elizabeth II ahead of Thursday night’s season opener between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams in Southern California.

As the Premier League and others in the UK prepare to shut down for the next 10 days or so, American football will continue to go on. But we’re likely to see pre-game cermonies filled with both paying respects to the late queen and honoring the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks when things get going on Sunday.

Queen Elizabeth II’s death and reactions around the sports world

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Jack Gruber-USA TODAY

“The NFL itself has a built-in relationship with the United Kingdom dating back to the days of NFL Europe. It also relies on the country to host multiple games per season, including a few in 2022. Everyone at NFL UK is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, Elizabeth II. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with The Royal Family. We join all those mourning the loss of Her Majesty.”

The NFL UK said in a statement

Others around the sports world responded by paying their respects to the queen.

“The National Hockey League mourns the passing and celebrates the remarkable life of Queen Elizabeth II. She held a special place in the hearts of Canadians and, during her 70-year-reign, connected with our game in memorable ways,” the NHL said in a statement.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame also released a statement on this dark day in world history.

“We join the world in sending our condolences to The Royal Family on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II,” the message said. “On her first visit to the U.S. as queen in 1957, she experienced ‘American Football’ for the first time at a game between Maryland and North Carolina.”

As sports continue somewhat unabated in the United States, our thoughts go out to the Royal Family. That includes King Charles as well as his sons, William and Harry.

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