Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid says he doesn’t intend to stop kneeling from the sidelines this upcoming season during the national anthem at NFL games.
Reid, 27, was one of the first athletes, like Colin Kaepernick, taking his activism to the next level by taking a knee during football games in protest of racial injustice.
“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 told the Charlotte Observer. “I haven’t seen that happen.”
In fact he says, “It feels like we’re going backwards. 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.”
Reid returned to the Panthers despite his protests last year. Kaepernick on the other hand went into free agency after he left the San Francisco 49ers and has not played since. He sued the league for collusion to keep him from playing because of his protests.
When Reid kneeled Panthers owner David Tepper’s seemingly was in support, telling NFL Films, “the world didn’t end” when Reid first took a knee.
In February the Panthers signed him to a new three-year, $22-million contract.
“I expect him to take another step in the system,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said about Reid. “He’s a very good football player and he’s got tremendous athleticism. He’s the kind of guy who I think can really help solidify your unit.”
Reid along with Kaepernick settled their collusion lawsuits against the NFL.