San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid told reporters Wednesday that after speaking with Colin Kaepernick, the two would like to see NFL players shift their focus to protesting issues of social injustice and racial inequality after members of teams across the league demonstrated unity in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's "son of a bitch" comments.
"He thinks that [the weekend's protest] was a direct response to, obviously, what the president said," Reid said of Kaepernick, per ESPN.com's Nick Wagoner. "He wishes that this many people were involved last year. I don't think the narrative would have went in as many directions as it went if we had more solidarity. We could have focused in on these issues, but we have got to be pragmatic about it. We have this opportunity now, and it's important that we discuss the issues and make changes."
Reid added he doesn't want to see people "steer the narrative in a different direction" and lose sight of what Kaepernick started protesting in the first place.
"And so, my goal is to do a better job this time around of controlling the narrative, talking about the issues, which I hope we can talk about today and getting people to understand why we're doing it, because these issues are real," he said, per Wagoner.
In a recent op-ed published by the New York Times, Reid explained he decided to join Kaepernick in his silent protest and kneel during the national anthem last season after they had an extended discussion about "issues that face our community, including systemic oppression against people of color, police brutality and the criminal justice system."
Speaking Wednesday, Reid said that while he isn't sure if Kaepernick will make public remarks anytime soon, he's "hoping that he does say something."