The anti-American anthem protesters that soured the 2016 and 2017 seasons are still making noise.
Colin Kaepernick, the ring leader of the unpatriotic movement, is moving forward with his frivolous lawsuit against the NFL.
Now Eric Reid, Kaepernick’s former teammate, is calling out the league for a problem that was his own doing.
Reid is a free agent safety and the San Francisco 49ers don’t seem to have any plans of re-signing him. The market for Reid thus far has been soft, and he’s blaming that on his anthem protest.
There’s just one problem with his narrative: free agency isn’t even a week old, and not many safeties have moved teams.
Two days into free agency, many players have signed with new teams or re-signed with their current ones. Safety Eric Reid isn’t one of them.
Reid, who was the first player to kneel alongside Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality and systemic oppression, took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon to state his feelings on how his protests might be affecting his job search.
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.
Reid went on to express his belief that the league’s general managers aren’t the ones keeping him from signing a new deal. Rather, the root of the problem is at the ownership level, he said.
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
After spending the past five seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, Reid became an unrestricted free agent when the new league year began Wednesday. Even as other free agents have found new deals and some continue to take visits, Reid has not been publicly linked to any potential landing spots.
That probably doesn’t come as a surprise to Reid, who in December acknowledged that his protests could be held against him in free agency.
“I would say I understand that’s a possibility,” Reid said then. “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.”
In 2016, Reid joined Kaepernick in his protest, first kneeling alongside him before a preseason game in San Diego after meeting with Nate Boyer, the former Green Beret and NFL long-snapper, to discuss potential protests that might be more respectful than sitting down during the national anthem.
As part of his efforts to create change, Reid initially joined the NFL Players Coalition formed by Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins. Reid participated in a group chat with fellow members and attended meetings with league representatives and owners as part of the coalition.
Reid announced in November that he was leaving that group, citing what he said was Jenkins’ decision not to include Kaepernick in the group as well as his own feeling that Jenkins had “misled” him on the coalition’s objectives.
Reid told ESPN that Jenkins had conversations with the NFL without him or Dolphins safety Michael Thomas being involved. Reid also said Jenkins told the NFL the players would end demonstrations if money was donated by the league to certain initiatives.
“That was never discussed at any point. I feel like I’ve been misled,” Reid said. “I won’t accuse Malcolm of directly lying to me, because I don’t think he’s that type of guy. But I will say he’s misled us. And shoot, if that’s what lying is, then that’s what it is.”
Jenkins denied Reid’s claims in a statement to ESPN at the time.
“They understood the entire scope of the plan,” he said. “The last time we had conversations with [commissioner Roger] Goodell and [vice president of football operations] Troy Vincent, Michael Thomas and Eric Reid were on that call. They understood the proposal…”
For now, Reid’s next destination remains unknown. But he made it clear Friday he intended to make sure he had his say in how the story was told.
Narrative is powerful so I have to set it straight. There are a lot of false narratives out there. I hope y’all are paying attention https://t.co/Cqw2BEG6fC
The NFL off-season is long, but Reid only waited two days before playing the victim card. What Reid needs to understand is that the way he’s carrying himself off the field matters, too.
Reid essentially called fellow protester Malcolm Jenkins a liar. That doesn’t bode well for how he gets along with people in the locker room that disagree with him.
Reid also retweeted an article that diminished the impact of newly re-signed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The league pays attention to things like this.
Calling out the owners after only two days is just icing on the cake.
It appears like Reid is more interested in martyrdom than football. If he isn’t careful, he might get his wish and find himself out of the league.