SANTA CLARA – Wednesday San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid talked to the media about his intensions to peacefully protest during the anthem again.
Reid protested along side teammate Colin Kaepernick in the 2016 but had not protested this season thus far.
“I was thinking about not protesting anymore before Charlottesville,” said Reid. “somebody died during Charlottesville, they were beating people during Charlottesville and to hear them be called “very nice people” I guess it lit the flame for me again.”
Reid said that the team plans on doing something Sunday along with other players and coaches but had not decided what the gesture will be yet.
“There comes a time where silence is betrayal” Reid said quoting Martin Luther King Jr. “and I feel like I can’t be silent.”
Reid explained that he was very aware of the personal and professional risks involved with his statement.
“If I loose money and if I loose my job I will be satisfied that I did what I felt was right for people who don’t have a voice,” said Reid. “I feel a responsibility with this platform to do what’s right socially.”
Kaepernick was heavily criticized for his statement but both him and Reid have decided that these issues are too important to ignore.
“I’ve wanted to be a professional football player my entire life but this is more important to me than that,” said Reid. “This is more important to Colin than playing football and its just really frustrating that people don’t see that he has had to loose his job trying to do something right”
Many teams and players in the NFL are now making gestures of protest and solidarity after President Trumps comments last week. Reid was asked if he felt that his protest was in fact patriotic for trying to make the country better for everyone.
“I would agree with that,” Reid responded to the sentiment. “I love this game so much that I criticize myself unendingly so I can become a better football player why can’t we do the same for the country. We hold athletes to the highest standard in this building, why can’t we hold our country to the highest standard every day?”
Kaepernicks protests last year shocked many but the former quarterback made it clear he intended to highlight the injustices that minorities were facing in the United States.
“We have the absolute best intensions we want positivity to come out of this” said Reid about the protests. “We believe this is for the greater good”
Reid explained that he faces a long road ahead of him but feels it’s important be a part of community events that highlight social injustices
“I’m going to do my best to coordinate those events for off days,” said Reid
Reid has spent the past year learning ways that he can directly cause change. He says plans to not only protest but to work with his community on the issues and to continue educating himself on local representatives.
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