Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is now a full-time activist, does not approve of the NFL's social justice presentations, even though they are a progression of the national anthem kneeling protest he started in 2016.
Kaepernick questioned the league's sincerity and motives in purporting to care for black lives and racial justice, while Eric Reid, Kaepernick's former teammate, is not on a team roster.
"While the NFL runs propaganda about how they care about Black Life, they are still actively blackballing Eric Reid for fighting for the Black community," Kaepernick wrote on Twitter on Sunday. "Eric set 2 franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league."
Reid was one of the first players to kneel with Kaepernick during the national anthem when they were teammates on the San Francisco 49ers in 2016. Reid played for the Carolina Panthers in 2019, recording 130 total tackles, 97 solo tackles, and four sacks, playing and starting in all 16 games.
Reid signed a three-year contract extension with the Panthers in February 2019, but was cut in March 2020. Reporting on Reid's departure indicated that Reid was cut due to the size of his contract. The team also traded quarterback Cam Newton and parted ways with star tight end Greg Olsen.
At the time of his release, Reid did not indicate a belief that there was anything nefarious about the transaction.
"It's been a pleasure Carolina!" Reid posted the day he was cut. "I enjoyed my time and the support I received from the fans, media, teammates, and staff there will be remembered. Looking forward to furthering my career in another city!"
In his tweet, Kaepernick cites a Deadspin article that claims, without evidence, that Reid is being actively blackballed by owners and the league, who are colluding to keep him unsigned.
Reid was a part of a collusion grievance against the NFL that was launched in 2017 by Kaepernick. The two players settled that grievance for a total of less than $10 million. Due to confidentiality agreements associated with that settlement, we may never know more detail about the situation, and Reid himself may be legally prevented from speaking on it.
Kaepernick has claimed an interest in returning to the NFL, and Nike, which sponsors Kaepernick, has run a #BringBackKap campaign online. However, Kaepernick has not played since 2016, and there is no indication that teams have interest in him, especially after the debacle surrounding his league-arranged tryout last year.