Former San Francisco 49ers safety and current free agent Eric Reid said Thursday he does not plan to protest during the national anthem in 2018.
‘We understand you have to change with the times,’ Reid said, per ESPN, from Stanford’s football facility, where his brother Justin was working out at the Cardinal’s pro day. ‘I’m not saying I’m going to stop being active because I won’t. I’m just going to consider different ways to be active, different ways to bring awareness to the issues of this country and improve on the issues happening in this country. I don’t think it will be in the form of protesting during the anthem.
‘I say “during” because it’s crazy that the narrative changed to we were protesting the anthem and that wasn’t the case. I think we’re going to take a different approach to how we’re going to be active.’
Reid (left) was the first player to kneel with Colin Kaepernick (right) in protest of racial injustice and police brutality against minorities when the quarterback began doing so during the national anthem in 2016. Reid continued to kneel during the 2017 season
Reid (center) continued protesting in 2017 without Kaepernick
Reid was the first player to kneel with Colin Kaepernick in protest of racial injustice and police brutality against minorities when the quarterback began doing so during the national anthem in 2016. Reid continued to kneel during the 2017 season, doing so while acknowledging that the attention drawn by his protests could limit his market when hitting free agency this spring.
Reid said Thursday that ‘a couple’ of teams have reached out to his agent, but discussions have not gotten far enough to cover contractual numbers. Despite the lack of offers, he remains resolute in his approach
He said in a series of tweets last week that his activism is the reason he remains unsigned, suggesting that owners are hesitant to add him to their team.
‘GMs aren’t the hold up broski. It’s ownership. People who know football know who can play. People who know me, know my character,’ Reid tweeted.
Reid said Thursday that ‘a couple’ of teams have reached out to his agent, but discussions have not gotten far enough to cover contractual numbers. Despite the lack of offers, he remains resolute in his approach.
‘I said before, I stand by what I’ve done,’ he said. ‘I know why I’ve done it. My faith in God is the reason. I can go to sleep at night confident that I did what I was taught to do. I’m just going to stay positive, keep training, keep staying in shape and we’ll see what happens.’
Reid, 26, was a first-round pick in 2013 and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie after collecting 91 tackles, 12 passes defensed and four interceptions. He has battled injuries in recent seasons but played in 70 games (69 starts) over five seasons with the 49ers, totaling 327 tackles, 36 passes defensed and 10 interceptions.
A former Pro Bowler, Eric Reid thinks he should be evaluated on his ability – not his politics
Reid, 26, was a first-round pick in 2013 and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie after collecting 91 tackles and four interceptions. He has battled injuries in recent seasons but played in 70 games (69 starts) over five seasons with the 49ers, totaling 327 tackles and 10 picks
Reid kneels as medical personnel help injured teammate Marquise Goodwin off the field
Kaepernick, who has been working out in the Houston area, has remained a free agent since March of 2017 and is suing the NFL, accusing the 32 owners of colluding against him because of the protests.
Despite a slew of injuries to quarterbacks around the league, Kaepernick remained a free agent in 2017, even while established quarterbacks like New England’s Tom Brady and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers insisted he was good enough to start in the NFL.
‘I have no idea if he’s being blackballed,’ Brady told Boston’s WEEI. ‘I’ve competed against him. I thought he was a damn good quarterback and he’s played at a high level and he’s brought his team to Super Bowls. That’s how I feel about him.’
Kaepernick actually beat Brady and the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in 2012, tossing for four touchdowns and only one interception in a 41-34 win.
He also has a respectable career quarterback rating of 88.9 in 69 career appearances, and guided the 49ers to three NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl.
According to the lawsuit, which was filed in October, ‘[The owners] have colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick’s leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States.’
Rodgers previously said he believes Kaepernick deserves to be on an NFL roster, with Rodgers going so far as to tell ESPN in August that he thinks the Wisconsin native is being blackballed.
‘I think he should be on a roster right now,’ Rodgers said. ‘I think because of his protests, he’s not.’
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, several owners and at least two NFL executives were deposed in Kaepeernick’s lawsuit and will have to turn over cellphone records and emails in relation to the case, a legal insider told ESPN.
NFL owners who will be deposed include Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, New England’s Robert Kraft, Bob McNair of the Houston Texans, Seattle’s Paul Allen and San Francisco’s Jed York.
The free agent quarterback was spotted working out in Houston on March 16