NFL Player, Eric Reid, who was also the first man that knelt alongside Colin Kaepernick, finally returned to the field on Saturday 7 October after being signed by the Carolina Panthers. The 26-year-old continued peacefully protesting by kneeling during the national anthem to protest against racism and social injustice as well as police brutality. None of his teammates knelt beside him.
Reid filed a grievance against the NFL claiming that other teams and President Donald Trump had colluded to ensure that he would not be signed and kept out of the league
In 2016, Safety Eric Reid knelt next to Kaepernick when they were teammates at the San Francisco 49ers. Four months ago Reid filed a grievance against the NFL claiming that other teams and President Donald Trump had colluded to ensure that he would not be signed and kept out of the league due to his political stance. Kaepernick is also currently in the middle of a collusion case against the NFL for similar reasons. It is clear that both of these cases have solid grounds as Reid and Kaepernick are talented players who should have been signed immediately after their contracts with the 49ers ended. They also have done nothing that directly violates their contracts or goes against the NFL’s regulations as it is never stated that a man cannot kneel during the national anthem. Instead, Reid was out of a job, despite being a good player, until he recently signed with the Carolina Panthers for a one year deal worth up to $2million. However, Kaepernick is still jobless.
The Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney explained to ESPN that the reason that they signed Reid was not a political one and instead it “was a football decision” and they chose Reid because “he’s a good football player.” His new teammates did not kneel beside him, however, they support him and what he kneels for. Torrey Smith, the Carolina Panthers wide receiver stated that “no one cares” and that he’s not going “to take a knee and let his guy run by” during the game so his protesting should not be an issue. All Reid’s new teammates are siding with him and stating they care more about how he performs on the field than what he does during the anthem. Reid’s peaceful protest is clearly not harming anyone and his teammates recognise that he is not protesting their country but rather the social injustice and racial attitudes that are currently plaguing it.
It is fundamentally wrong to declare that people cannot kneel during the national anthem as there were no rules or regulations against this until recently
Although the NFL has approved the introduction of a policy that demands all players to stand during the national anthem in order to stop the kneeling protesters, it is not really working. The NFL stated in May that clubs would be fined if players protest but people are still continuing to kneel, as they should. It is fundamentally wrong to declare that people cannot kneel during the national anthem as there were no rules or regulations against this until recently. Kaepernick even spoke with Veteran Nate Boyer and asked him how he could respectfully protest during the national anthem and Boyer suggested kneeling as soldiers kneel for their fallen comrades. Thus, kneeling is one of the most peaceful and respectful ways to protest for NFL players like Reid.
Overall, a large majority of people are in support of Reid and his protesting as it is his skills on the field that everyone values and as long as he maintains his good play, then there should not be a problem. By continuing working and protesting, he is setting an example for people everywhere that they should not have to give up their beliefs for financial profit and reminding them that he is simply doing what he thinks is right. We should value and respect him for that.