Colin Kaepernick blasted the NFL Sunday, questioning how the league can claim to support the “Black Lives Matter” movement while he claims it is “still actively blackballing” his former 49ers teammate Eric Reid.
Reid, a defensive back who set two Carolina Panthers records last year, still finds himself out of the league as a free agent just like Kaepernick, who hasn’t played since 2016, when he began taking a knee during the national anthem to protest social and racial injustice.
“While the NFL runs propaganda about how they care about Black Life, they are still actively blackballing Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) for fighting for the Black community. Eric set 2 franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league,” Kaepernick tweeted Sunday.
Reid knelt alongside Kaepernick during the anthem while with the 49ers in 2016, and he continued the protest the next season. Kaepernick and Reid both filed a grievance against the NFL, the free agents alleging the league’s owners were colluding to prevent them from playing again. That case was settled out of court.
Although Kaepernick hasn’t played in four years, his impact can still be seen throughout the league when many players still kneel in protest during the anthem. Two 49ers, running back Jerick McKinnon and wide receiver Richie James, were both spotted apparently kneeling or squatting during the anthem at Levi’s Stadium before their game against the Cardinals.
Reid, a Pro Bowl safety drafted by the 49ers in the first round in 2013, signed with Carolina as a free agent after the 2017 season and played well the past two seasons. But, no team has shown any real interest in the 28-year-old Reid this off-season.
While NFL commissioner Roger Goodell encouraged teams to consider signing Kaepernick this summer, he also signaled that the league will support players’ right to peacefully protest.
Kapernick, though, said he doesn’t see the proof of that when the league can’t find room for Reid, who had more tackles (120) and sacks (4) in 2019 than any Panthers safety had recorded in a single season before him.
The NFL has yet to react to Kaepernick’s social media post Sunday.
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