Eric Reid Says He Won't Protest During National Anthem Anymore

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 22, 2018

San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (11) kneel during the performance of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the New York Giants in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Safety Eric Reid will stop protesting during the national anthem prior to the kickoff of NFL games. 

The free agent announced Thursday a change in his approach to raising awareness for social issues, per ESPN.com:

"From the beginning, Colin [Kaepernick] has been flexible. He started by sitting—he changed it up. We decided to kneel. And we understand that you've got to change with the times. I'm not going to say that I'm going to stop being active, because I won't. I'm just going to consider different ways to be active, different ways to bring awareness to the issues of this country—to improve the issues happening in this country."

Reid was the first player to kneel alongside Kaepernick during the national anthem when they both played for the San Francisco 49ers. 

In an op-ed for the New York Times last September, Reid explained the motivation behind his demonstration.

"It baffles me that our protest is still being misconstrued as disrespectful to the country, flag and military personnel. We chose it because it’s exactly the opposite," he wrote. "It has always been my understanding that the brave men and women who fought and died for our country did so to ensure that we could live in a fair and free society, which includes the right to speak out and protest."

After playing five seasons with the 49ers, Reid is a free agent for the first time in his career. He said Thursday his agent has talked with a couple of teams, but no "numbers have been talked about. No visits have been talked about."

In 13 games last season, Reid finished third on the 49ers with 67 total tackles and tied for third with four tackles for loss. 

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