Colin Kaepernick, who’s been unsigned by the NFL for yrs right after protesting racial injustice on the discipline, identified as out the league Sunday for hypocrisy in showing to champion Black life when nonetheless not signing a participant who kneeled with him.
The activist and ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback applied the opening weekend of professional online games to say that the NFL participates in what he considers performative activism for racial justice, specified that security Eric Reid remains unsigned.
Reid is an NFL totally free agent who proudly joined then-teammate and longtime mate Kaepernick in the 2016 protest that bought the quarterback stonewalled from enjoying in the league, which has a extended, troubled heritage confronting racism.
“While the NFL operates propaganda about how they care about Black Everyday living, they are however actively blackballing Eric Reid … for combating for the Black community,” Kaepernick tweeted. “Eric set 2 franchise records very last calendar year, and is a person of the ideal defensive gamers in the league.”
Staring in 2013, Reid played 5 seasons with the 49ers. He signed as a free of charge agent with the Carolina Panthers and performed for that group in the 2018 and ’19 seasons
The NFL did not instantly reply to HuffPost’s request for remark.
Reid was the very first player to be part of Kaepernick’s protest against racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling in the course of the countrywide anthem 4 yrs back for the duration of a preseason match. Kaepernick’s final decision to kneel ― knowledgeable by discussions with a army veteran ― led to a wave of tranquil protests by athletes for Black lives and a social movement within the sports activities entire world.
Conservative politicians — which includes then-presidential candidate Donald Trump ― reacted angrily to Kaepernick and Reid’s silent protest, wrongly arguing that the players were being protesting the U.S. flag, the nationwide anthem and the military. Some admirers have been turned off by the protests, and as president, Trump has continued to deride the motion amongst athletes.
Kaepernick has been not able to get a career in the NFL given that 2017 even though he led San Francisco to the Super Bowl in the 2012 time and his conference’s title recreation the following year.
Reid was let go by the 49ers just after the 2017 season and was not at first signed by any other group. He joined Kaepernick in submitting a grievance arguing that the NFL and its entrepreneurs colluded to avoid their employment because of their protest. The two players sooner or later settled with the league in February 2019.
The Panthers signed Reid a several games into the 2018 period, and he was vocal about the assist he acquired from the team’s owner, David Tepper, and previous coach Ron Rivera. Reid produced positive to continue on peacefully protesting on the discipline extended right after Kaepernick played his last NFL recreation.
But beneath Carolina’s new mentor, Matt Rhule, the group has purged veterans with major contracts these types of as Reid’s. The staff launched Reid in March immediately after he experienced signed a three-calendar year, $22 million agreement extension with the team the previous offseason. He has remained an unsigned absolutely free agent since the release.
“My agents have been in communications with groups everyday, but there have been no developments,” Reid instructed Deadspin.
Kaepernick’s feedback arrived on the similar working day most NFL groups opened their seasons in empty stadiums with player protests that mirrored what obtained the quarterback blackballed in the very first area ― kneeling, locking arms, raising fists or keeping off the industry throughout the nationwide anthem.
Very last Thursday, some attendees at the league’s opening video game involving the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans booed as players on both teams linked arms on the industry in a gesture of unity as seven statements towards racism appeared on the scoreboards.
The league now also follows the national anthem with “Lift Each Voice and Sing,” usually regarded as the Black countrywide anthem. In July, The Related Push noted that the NFL will let gamers to have decals on the back of their helmets bearing the names or initials of victims of systemic racism and law enforcement violence.
The NFL’s so-known as social awakening follows nationwide protests in excess of police brutality and systemic oppression of Black people today in the U.S., sparked at first by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Reid called out many soccer teams’ tweets about the Black Lives Make any difference motion various months ago by reminding them of Kaepernick’s unsigned position.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who refused to guidance Kaepernick’s protests, posted a video clip in June conceding that the league need to have listened to the participant and was late in acknowledging systemic racism. Before this month, EA Sports activities declared that it additional Kaepernick to the 2021 version of its “Madden” video game series, the first time he’ll look in the activity considering the fact that 2016.
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