One of the first NFL players to take a knee to protest the National Anthem is upset that NFL teams aren’t lining up to sign him, now that he is a free agent looking for a job.
Eric Reid is a former member of the San Francisco 49ers and former teammate of Colin Kaepernick. He joined the quarterback and took a knee during the anthem beginning with the 2016 season. Reid is now a free agent, and while plenty of good players have already signed with new teams, Reid is still out of a job. And he knows why.
Reid has said for some time that he knew his political activism would cost him with teams who didn’t want to take on his polarizing baggage. He seemed ready to accept the consequences, as he recently said “I would say I understand that’s a possibility. And I’m completely fine with it. The things that I’ve done, I stand by, and I’ve done that for my own personal beliefs. Like I said, I’m fine with whatever outcome happens because of that.”
That opinion appears to have changed.
Reid took to Twitter to complain about media speculation that NFL teams would only sign him if he played for less than his usual salary. He now seems mad over the notion that his protest of the American flag and the anthem is costing him money.
“The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous,” he remarked on Twitter. “If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too. GMs aren’t the hold up broski. It’s ownership. People who know football know who can play. People who know me, know my character.”
Reid is not an elite player, but he is very talented. A player of his caliber should have no problem getting signed by an NFL team, but his actions have made him a liability to teams, as fans continue to rebel against those who supported the protest.
Former 49ers safety Eric Reid, one of the most prominent activist voices in the NFL last season, hasn’t been signed by a new team within the first couple days of free agency. Thursday night, Reid tweeted his disagreement with what he called a “ludicrous notion,” which appears to be the idea coming from NFL owners that Reid can be paid less than he’s worth because of his protests.
Reid, a five-year NFL vet, was one of the first players to kneel for the national anthem alongside then-teammate Colin Kaepernick, beginning with the 2016 preseason. He continued to demonstrate during the anthem through most games of 2017 as well. Reid also notably broke with the Players’ Coalition after the NFL promised a donation to social justice causes, calling the league’s move “a charade” with the true goal of ending anthem protests. At the start of free agency he was ranked 56th on Pro Football Talk’s top free agent list.
Back in December, Reid said that he understood the possibility of teams avoiding him for his activism, but seemed ready to accept the cost.
Here are the tweets from Eric Reid voicing his displeasure on the lack of interest.
The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too.
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) March 15, 2018
GMs aren’t the hold up broski. It’s ownership. People who know football know who can play. People who know me, know my character. https://t.co/M9ULziZg5V
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) March 16, 2018