'We're going backwards': Eric Reid will kneel for anthem in upcoming NFL season

Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, the first player to kneel alongside Colin Kaepernick, said he will continue to protest during the national anthem in the coming NFL season.

Reid and his close friend Kaepernick started the protest in 2017 to bring attention to racial and social injustice. “If a day comes that I feel like we’ve addressed those issues [of injustice], 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 told the Charlotte Observer in an interview published on Sunday. “I haven’t seen that happen.”

At a time when the President of the United States is using racist language, Reid believes race relations in America are headed in the wrong direction. “It feels like we’re going backwards,” Reid said. “You’d like to think we’re past certain things, the way we treat people. 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.”

In May 2018, Reid filed a collusion grievance against the NFL alleging he had been kept out of the league due to his political stance. He eventually signed for the Panthers in September after the season had started. Kaepernick, however, remains without a team, and some believe he would be too much of a distraction for any team that signed him. However, Reid continued to kneel during the anthem last season without incident, and the Panthers’ owner, David Tepper, said the “world didn’t end” when Reid protested.

“We’ve got to keep fighting,” Reid said of the social justice movement. “Got to keep agitating. Got to keep making sure that we put pressure on the people who make the laws, and the decisions, in this country.”


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