Eric Reid on Monday called the NFL’s social justice campaign this season “half-hearted at best” and the league’s use of video of Colin Kaepernick kneeling while the quarterback remains unsigned “diabolical.”
The free-agent safety tweeted that commissioner Roger Goodell “has gotten comfortable” saying he was “wrong” not to listen to players about social injustice “as if his mere acknowledgement reconciles his admitted wrongdoing. He hasn’t even called Colin to apologize, let alone reconcile, proving this is only PR for the current business climate.”
Reid added that “Goodell uses video of Colin courageously kneeling to legitimize their disingenuous PR while simultaneously perpetuating systemic oppression, that the video he’s using fights against, by continuing to rob Colin of his career. It’s diabolical.”
Reid’s tweets came a day after Kaepernick called out the NFL’s campaign.
“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,” tweeted Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who has been out of the NFL since 2016. “Eric set 2 franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league.”
Reid and Kaepernick were included in a video played at each stadium Sunday that featured the song “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” which was performed by Alicia Keys.
Kaepernick first brought attention to social and racial injustice and police brutality in 2016 when he started kneeling during the anthem. Reid was the first player to join Kaepernick’s protest by kneeling during the national anthem in 2016, when both played for the 49ers. The two filed a grievance against the NFL and its owners, saying they colluded to prevent their employment because of their protest. The sides reached a settlement in February 2019.
On Sunday, seven teams remained in their locker rooms during the playing of the national anthem. Elsewhere, many players and some coaches kneeled, sat on the bench and/or raised their fists when on the field for the anthem.
The Carolina Panthers released Reid, 28, in March after he had set career bests with 130 tackles (97 solo) and four sacks during the 2019 season.