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NFL player says national anthem protests are the reason he is a free agent

Strong safety Eric Reid of the San Francisco 49ers kneels during the national anthem before the preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings on Aug. 27 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Reid said his protesting is the reason no teams are showing interest in signing him. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The first player to kneel beside former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was strong safety Eric Reid. Now an unrestricted free agent, Reid said his protesting is the reason no teams are showing interest in signing him.

What did he say?

Reid addressed his free agency on Twitter, saying the NFL owners are the reason he is currently unemployed.

“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,” Reid tweeted. “If you think is (sic), then your mindset is part of the problem too.

“GMs aren’t the hold up broski,” Reid said in a subsequent tweet replying to another user. “It’s ownership. People who know football know who can play. People know me, know my character.”



About Reid’s situation

Reid has played for the 49ers for the past five seasons, and is now a free agent. During the first two days of free agency, Reid has not been publicly mentioned as a potential signee for any team.

Reid began kneeling with Kaepernick to protest racial injustice and police brutality in 2016, and continued through the 2017 season. He said in December that he understood his protests might keep teams from signing him.

“And I’m completely fine with it,” Reid said in December. “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.”

Reid is 26 years old and started 12 games in 2017.


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