Eric Reid

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Eric Reid owns critics with eloquent defense of anthem kneeling after joining Panthers

John Tomase
October 02, 2018 - 2:17 pm

One of the laziest insults lobbed at NFL players who choose to kneel during the anthem is when their critics claim, "They don't even know what they're protesting."

Eric Reid needs 30 seconds to put that ignorant lie to rest.

Reid joined former 49ers teammate Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the 2016 season, and he later joined him in a collusion lawsuit against the NFL, claiming he had been blackballed from the league despite being a Pro Bowl safety in his prime.

The 26-year-old is back in the NFL after signing with the Panthers on Thursday, and he met the media in Carolina on Monday wearing an "#IMWITHKAP" t-shirt in support of his former teammate. He hasn't decided if he's going to kneel again, but he offered the following response when asked about his motivations for protesting racial injustice.

"Next year will be 2019," Reid said. "It will mark 400 years since the first slaves touched the soil in this country. That's 400 years of systemic oppression. That's slavery, Jim Crow, new Jim Crow, mass incarceration, you name it. The Great Depression, they come out with the New Deal, black people didn't have access to those government stimulus packages. The New Deal set up what is known as the modern day middle class. We didn't have access to those programs -- the G.I. Bill, Social Security, home loans, none of that. So this has been happening since my people got here, and so, I just felt the need to say something about it."

Does that sound like someone who doesn't know what he's talking about?