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Eric Reid Comments on Reasoning Behind National Anthem Protest

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2016

FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016 file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, middle, kneels during the national anthem before the team's NFL preseason football game against the San Diego Chargers, in San Diego. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell disagrees with Kaepernick's choice to kneel during the national anthem, but recognizes the quarterback's right to protest.  (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)
Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid joined teammate Colin Kaepernick in taking a knee during the national anthem prior to the team's final preseason game against the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 1.

With the 49ers set to begin their 2016 regular season Monday, Reid offered an explanation for why he felt it was important to be part of the discussion that has risen since Kaepernick took his stance public:

Eric Reid @E_Reid35

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Eric Reid @E_Reid35

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Kaepernick's protest prior to the 49ers' preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 26 drew attention when he was photographed sitting on the bench during the national anthem. 

Per ESPN.com's Nick Wagoner, Reid met with Kaepernick, who was also discussing the issue with former Green Beret Nate Boyer, in the days after the game to discuss joining him in protest, but he wanted to find a way they could do it without sitting down.

"[Boyer] actually showed us the text messages that his buddies were sending, how they said they were pissed about what he did, but they still understood why he was doing it," Reid told Wagoner. "Which led to the decision for him to not sit but to take a knee, to show respect to the people that felt hurt by that action."

Reid's explanation for why he started to take part in the protest and will continue to do so is similar to what Kaepernick told NFL.com's Steve Wyche: "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."

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The protest has gained traction across the sports world, with players such as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane and U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe as well as numerous high school and college athletes taking a knee during the anthem.

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