Colin Kaepernick: Eric Reid Being 'Actively' Blackballed by NFL in Free Agency

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2020

FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2016 file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, left, and safety Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, in Santa Clara, Calif. Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have reached settlements on their collusion lawsuits against the NFL, the league said Friday, Feb. 19, 2019.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Eric Reid is just 28 years old and was a dominant safety for the Carolina Panthers last season but remains without a job in the NFL as the 2020 campaign gets underway.

Former teammate Colin Kaepernick thinks there is a reason for that.

"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," Kaepernick tweeted. "Eric set 2 franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league."

Kaepernick and Reid were teammates with the San Francisco 49ers from 2013-16. Reid was the first to join Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem as a means of protesting police brutality and systemic racism.

The 2013 Pro Bowler played for the 49ers during the first five years of his career and the Panthers the last two years. He posted 130 tackles, four sacks, six passes defended, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble during the 2019 season.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noted Reid set the Panthers franchise record for most tackles by a safety and most sacks by a safety, which Kaepernick referenced in his tweet.

The quarterback, who also remains unsigned, also mentioned the NFL's "propaganda about how they care about Black Life." Analis Bailey of USA Today noted the league put signage in end zones saying "It Takes All of Us" and "End Racism" for Week 1, while some players are wearing decals on their helmets to honor victims of racial injustice.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in June that the league was "wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier" and encouraged players to "speak out and peacefully protest."

The comments came in response to a video featuring many of the NFL's stars asking for a league response to the police killing of George Floyd: 

In 2019, Kaepernick and Reid agreed to a settlement with the NFL regarding their collusion grievances filed against the league.