For Veterans Day Weekend, the NFL Players Association asked its members to suspend their protests during the National Anthem, and instead, pay tribute to the soldiers who have served the country. This past weekend saw the NFL hold a “Salute to Service,” honoring those military members past and present, during pre-game festivities, including the National Anthem.
Most players chose to honor the request and stood during the anthem. Three athletes, however, defied the Players Association and protested anyway.
The three players were all in the same stadium at the time, for the game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants.
The players who protested were:
Eric Reid, San Francisco 49ers. Reid joined then-teammate Colin Kaepernick in his protests last season, choosing to kneel during the anthem. According to a report in the Seattle Times, Reid, who claims to be a born-again Christian, explained his motivation to protest as Biblically-based.
Reid joined Kaepernick, his former San Francisco 49ers teammate, in kneeling for the “The Star-Spangled Banner” last year because he wants to be a “voice for the voiceless,” a lesson derived from a Bible verse found in Proverbs. The 25-year-old safety-turned-linebacker said he has discussed faith with Kaepernick, who remains unsigned.
“It’s the foundation of why we started doing this,” Reid told The Associated Press on Oct. 29. “We all have a love for people. The Bible tells us love your brother as yourself so that’s why we’re doing it.
“We have to speak up for those who can’t do it for themselves. My faith is ultimately what led me to start protesting and it’s what continues to drive me. Faith without works is dead. I feel like the past year before we started protesting, the Lord has prepped me for this moment.”
Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco 49ers. Goodwin, a wide receiver, also made headlines on Sunday after he revealed that his wife had suffered a miscarriage of their unborn son. He has been protesting the anthem all season.
Olivier Vernon, New York Giants. Vernon was just activated from the Injured Reserve list this week. He has been protesting the anthem even when he was injured.
The players have not provided additional comment on their Veterans Day protest.