The tragic death in Charlottesville, Virginia has stoked the flames of political division in this country.
One of the more divisive moments occurred last year when Colin Kaepernick chose to protest the National Anthem by sitting, then eventually kneeling.
The teammate who knelt by Kaepernick’s side all season had interesting things to say in light of the violence in Charlottesville.
San Francisco 49ers’ Safety Eric Reid said he would stand for the 2017 games, and the events in Charlottesville wouldn’t affect his decision.
Last season, San Francisco 49er Eric Reid joined Colin Kaepernick to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem. At the close of the season, Reid announced that he would stand to honor the anthem and would continue to do so throughout the 2017 season. This week, Reid confirmed that he will stick with his decision to stand and that the recent unrest in Charlottesville would not change his mind.
After the tumultuous weekend when opposing protesters clashed in Charlottesville, Virginia, some NFL players insisted that the unrest was reason enough to continue their national anthem protests into the 2017 NFL season.
The day after the terrible events in Virginia, Reid was asked if he might change his mind and once again take up his protest.
“It doesn’t change my plans,” Reid told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s important to discuss the issues that we have in our country. I think it’s becoming more and more apparent. Maybe people didn’t see what the black community saw when me and Colin were doing our protests, and other players were doing [their] protests last year. I think it’s more apparent now after this past weekend.
“It’s becoming more apparent for people to see the issues that we’re talking about, especially in the way that it happened in Charlottesville. We’re just hoping that if we keep talking about it . . . because a lot of people just want things to blow over. ‘Oh, that’s an isolated incident. It happens every day.’ And if we can keep talking about it, hopefully, we can make this change. And it needs to stop being hopefully. It needs to happen. It needs to happen now.”
Reid is one of the longest-tenured players on the team and has been active in helping his home community in Louisiana, so he has the respect of the locker room.
Reid’s message appears to be one of unification, while agitators outside the sports realm are all too eager to foment hatred and dissent.
ESPN and other media outlets have essentially called for the NFL to give Colin Kaepernick a job “or else.”
This isn’t a hostage negotiation. It’s a business. Thirty-two teams have independently decided Colin Kaepernick isn’t worth the trouble.
It’s a shame more sports personalities aren’t taking a measured approach like Eric Reid.