- Free agent safety Eric Reid believes his support of Colin Kaepernick’s protests are why he has not been signed yet.
- Reid knew this could happen and is ok with whatever impact the reaction to his protests have on his career.
- Reid joins Kaepernick as a notable example of a protester who hasn’t found a new NFL team.
Former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid, who knelt during the national anthem with former teammate Colin Kaepernick to protest systemic inequality and police brutality, has gone unsigned so far in free agency, and he believes his protests are the cause.
The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too.
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) March 15, 2018
In a follow-up tweet, Reid went on to make it clear who he believes that league owners are responsible for his current circumstances.
GMs aren’t the hold up broski. It’s ownership. People who know football know who can play. People who know me, know my character. https://t.co/M9ULziZg5V
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) March 16, 2018
Last December Reid had acknowledged that his protests could hurt his chances of finding a new NFL team, as reported by ESPN at the time.
“I would say I understand that’s a possibility,” Reid said. “And I’m completely fine with it. The things that I’ve done, I stand by, and I’ve done that for my own personal beliefs. Like I said, I’m fine with whatever outcome happens because of that.”
As Sports Illustrated noted, Reid was the first player to join in Kaepernick’s protests and has been a vocal in his support of the protests, even writing an op-ed in the New York Times explaining why they had decided to take a knee.
Reid, a former Pro Bowl safety, has good reason to believe that his protests are why he remains unsigned, given that Kaepernick went unsigned all of last season despite easily being good enough to merit at least a backup quarterback spot on an NFL roster.