Eric Reid Protests Anthem Before First Game Back

By Malcolm Speaks

Eric Reid continues to protest despite being signed.

Eric Reid continues to protest despite being signed.

This past Sunday, Eric Reid played his first game this season as a Carolina Panther and continued to protest during the US national anthem by taking a knee. The Panthers beat the New York Giants 33-31 in Charlotte, NC.

The former Pro Bowl defensive back is also suing the NFL over collusion for keeping him out of the league because of protests with Colin Kaepernick.

During this past offseason, Reid went unsigned by all 32 teams after becoming a free agent, while only one team, the Cincinnati Bengals, even brought Reid in for a workout. Bengals’ owner Mike Brown allegedly asked Reid for assurance that he would not kneel during games. Reid refused and he went unsigned.

However, the Carolina Panthers finally signed Reid on September 28 and he played in their first game of the season this past Sunday when the Panthers’ pulled off a last-second victory. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said after the game that all he cares about is winning and he has Reid’s back.

“Anything he stands for as a teammate, I stand with him,” Newton said to reporters after the game. “I didn’t see a distraction today. You have to respect it.”

Reid also spoke about being back in the league and on the field while Kaepernick remains out of the league.

“It’s bittersweet,” Reid told reporters after the game. “We won the game, but Colin is home with my kids. He should be playing.”

Reid said that he told head coach Ron Rivera before the game that he would kneel and added that he was not asking for permission. Kaepernick chimed in on Twitter and acknowledged two other players, Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson of the Miami Dolphins, who continue to kneel during the anthem.

Explaining his decision to kneel, Reid said after the game that the country has “made no progress” with regard to police killings and social justice in general.

“We’ve made baby steps, but people try to give crumbs and present them as cakes,” he said when interviewed by the Charlotte Observer. “So you can come at me with all the hate you want, but it doesn’t change the fact of the truth.”

Eric Reid knelt alongside former 49ers teammate Colin Kaepernick during the anthem to protest the police killings of black people and people of color throughout the 2016 season. Reid continued to play for the 49ers last season and continued the protest.

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