Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
Eric Reid is just 28 years old and was a dominant safety for the Carolina Panthers last season but remains without a job in the NFL as the 2020 campaign gets underway.
Former teammate Colin Kaepernick thinks there is a reason for that.
“While the NFL runs propaganda about how they care about Black Life, they are still actively blackballing Eric Reid for fighting for the Black community,” Kaepernick tweeted. “Eric set 2 franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league.”
Kaepernick and Reid were teammates with the San Francisco 49ers from 2013-16. Reid was the first to join Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem as a means of protesting police brutality and systemic racism.
The 2013 Pro Bowler played for the 49ers during the first five years of his career and the Panthers the last two years. He posted 130 tackles, four sacks, six passes defended, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble during the 2019 season.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noted Reid set the Panthers franchise record for most tackles by a safety and most sacks by a safety, which Kaepernick referenced in his tweet.
The quarterback, who also remains unsigned, also mentioned the NFL’s “propaganda about how they care about Black Life.” Analis Bailey of USA Today noted the league put signage in end zones saying “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” for Week 1, while some players are wearing decals on their helmets to honor victims of racial injustice.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in June that the league was “wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier” and encouraged players to “speak out and peacefully protest.”
The comments came in response to a video featuring many of the NFL’s stars asking for a league response to the police killing of George Floyd:
Michael Thomas @Cantguardmike
“A message on behalf of the nfl” https://t.co/iilDpnZfyV
We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange https://t.co/ENWQP8A0sv
In 2019, Kaepernick and Reid agreed to a settlement with the NFL regarding their collusion grievances filed against the league.