Saying that he feels treatment of African Americans is “going backward,” Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid said he will keep taking a knee during the National Anthem before games.
Reid, who joined the Panthers three weeks into the 2018 season, kneeled before every game last season, although no Panthers teammates joined him.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Reid’s reason for kneeling is to “protest racial inequality and social injustice in America.”
“If a day comes that I feel like we’ve addressed those issues, and our people aren’t being discriminated against or being killed over traffic violations, then I’ll decide it’s time to stop protesting,” Reid said, according to the newspaper. “I haven’t seen that happen.”
Reid is close friends with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick from their days as teammates with the 49ers. Kaepernick is well known for his protests during the National Anthem. Both players settled a collusion lawsuit with the NFL last year.
“You’d like to think we’re past certain things, the way we treat people,” Reid said. “I thought we were at a time where you love your neighbor as yourself. But as I’ve studied history, it hasn’t repeated itself necessarily, but it’s dressed a little different and is acting the same.”
Reid, 27, ended up starting all 13 games he was in uniform for the Panthers last season. He was sixth on the team with 71 tackles last season with one sack and one interception. In six NFL seasons, five with the 49ers, the former No. 18 overall selection in the 2013 draft has 398 career tackles and 11 interceptions.
—Field Level Media