Eric Reid decides to kneel during anthem again: We’re not “un-American.”

Eric Reid protested during the national anthem all last year, kneeling with then teammate-Colin Kaepernick, but decided this offseason it was time to move on.


With time to reflect on what happened two weeks ago in Charlottesville, he decided he needed to continue.

Reid was again on one knee during last night’s game against the Vikings, and explained to reporters afterward why he had the “change of heart.”

“A lot of thinking. A lot of praying. Talking to Colin.” he said, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “When we started last year, if you recall, we said our goal was to raise awareness and shed light on the issues that were happening in our country. I think we accomplished that goal. What I was upset about was the narrative, the false narrative, that were being told about us, people saying that we’re un-American, that we’re against police entirely and the military. That just wasn’t true. At first I thought that was a small sacrifice to pay to get the word out and raise awareness. I settled with thinking raising that awareness was victory.

“Then fast forward to Charlottesville and the country sees what an un- American protest really looks like. That’s when I had my change of heart. Because what Colin, Eli and I did was a peaceful protest fueled by faith in God to help make our country a better place. I feel I needed to regain control of that narrative and not let people say that what we’re doing is un-American, because it’s not. It’s completely American. We’re doing it because we want equality for everybody. We want our country to be a better place. So that’s why I decided to resume the protest.”

Reid said he planned to continue with the protest throughout the year. Teammates were gathered around him last night, and he said he appreciated the support. And as he enters a free agent year and has seen what happened to Kaepernick, he said he’s aware of what could happen to him and is not worried about future economic fallout.

“This has been fueled by my faith in God,” he said. “That’s the only reason I do it. You can’t serve God and money. So if I’m not on the team next year, I’ll be at home unhappy that I’m not on the team, but I’ll be satisfied knowing that I did what I believed was right, and that’s being a voice for the voiceless and standing up for the oppressed.”

A number of players have chosen to continue the protests during the anthem this year, including Michael Bennett and Marshawn Lynch, with a large group of Browns players taking part last week.


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