Colin Kaepernick, who’s been unsigned by the NFL for a long time immediately after protesting racial injustice on the subject, termed out the league Sunday for hypocrisy in appearing to champion Black life while even now not signing a player who kneeled with him.
The activist and ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback used the opening weekend of pro video games to say that the NFL participates in what he considers performative activism for racial justice, given that security Eric Reid stays unsigned.
Reid is an NFL no cost agent who proudly joined then-teammate and longtime good friend Kaepernick in the 2016 protest that acquired the quarterback stonewalled from actively playing in the league, which has a prolonged, troubled record confronting racism.
“While the NFL runs propaganda about how they treatment about Black Life, they are continue to actively blackballing Eric Reid … for combating for the Black group,” Kaepernick tweeted. “Eric set 2 franchise records very last year, and is one particular of the best defensive players in the league.”
Staring in 2013, Reid performed five seasons with the 49ers. He signed as a cost-free agent with the Carolina Panthers and performed for that workforce in the 2018 and ’19 seasons
The NFL did not immediately reply to HuffPost’s ask for for remark.
Reid was the initial participant to be a part of Kaepernick’s protest towards racial injustice and law enforcement brutality by kneeling during the countrywide anthem 4 decades in the past in the course of a preseason sport. Kaepernick’s selection to kneel ― informed by conversations with a navy veteran ― led to a wave of tranquil protests by athletes for Black lives and a social motion within the sports activities world.
Conservative politicians — such as then-presidential prospect Donald Trump ― reacted angrily to Kaepernick and Reid’s silent protest, wrongly arguing that the gamers were protesting the U.S. flag, the national anthem and the armed forces. Some fans had 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 occupation in the NFL considering that 2017 even although he led San Francisco to the Tremendous Bowl in the 2012 season and his conference’s title game the subsequent yr.
Reid was permit go by the 49ers right after the 2017 period and was not at first signed by any other team. He joined Kaepernick in filing a grievance arguing that the NFL and its proprietors colluded to prevent their employment for the reason that of their protest. The two gamers eventually settled with the league in February 2019.
The Panthers signed Reid a few online games into the 2018 time, and he was vocal about the assist he been given from the team’s owner, David Tepper, and previous coach Ron Rivera. Reid designed confident to carry on peacefully protesting on the discipline extended just after Kaepernick played his final NFL match.
But beneath Carolina’s new coach, Matt Rhule, the group has purged veterans with huge contracts these types of as Reid’s. The group produced Reid in March following he experienced signed a a few-12 months, $22 million agreement extension with the staff the previous offseason. He has remained an unsigned free of charge agent due to the fact the launch.
“My brokers have been in communications with groups everyday, but there have been no developments,” Reid advised Deadspin.
Kaepernick’s remarks came on the same working day most NFL groups opened their seasons in vacant stadiums with participant protests that mirrored what acquired the quarterback blackballed in the initial area ― kneeling, locking arms, boosting fists or remaining off the field throughout the national anthem.
Very last Thursday, some attendees at the league’s opening sport between the Kansas Town Chiefs and the Houston Texans booed as players on both equally groups connected arms on the area in a gesture of unity as seven statements in opposition to racism appeared on the scoreboards.
The league now also follows the nationwide anthem with “Lift Each individual Voice and Sing,” typically acknowledged as the Black countrywide anthem. In July, The Related Push documented that the NFL will enable gamers to have decals on the back again of their helmets bearing the names or initials of victims of systemic racism and law enforcement violence.
The NFL’s so-termed social awakening follows nationwide protests about law enforcement brutality and systemic oppression of Black people in the U.S., sparked initially by the law enforcement killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Reid known as out quite a few soccer teams’ tweets about the Black Life Issue motion a number of months back by reminding them of Kaepernick’s unsigned position.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who refused to support Kaepernick’s protests, posted a video in June conceding that the league really should have listened to the participant and was late in acknowledging systemic racism. Earlier this month, EA Sporting activities declared that it additional Kaepernick to the 2021 version of its “Madden” video video game series, the 1st time he’ll appear in the match given that 2016.
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