Colin Kaepernick is speaking out against the NFL’s focus on social justice during opening weekend, saying the league is not being sincere about its commitment to supporting change while still keeping one of the leaders of the movement from playing.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback took to Twitter to claim that the NFL is still blackballing Eric Reid, one of the earliest players to join Kaepernick in his protest during the national anthem to bring attention to police brutality against minorities.
After starting all 16 games for the Carolina Panthers last season and racking up 130 tackles along with four sacks, Reid has not found a new team and remains a free agent. Kaepernick does not believe it’s a coincidence.
“While the NFL runs propaganda about how they care about Black Life, they are still actively blackballing Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) for fighting for the Black community,” Kaepernick wrote. “Eric set 2 franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league.”
Kaepernick has not played since the conclusion of the 2016 season. The following year, he filed a lawsuit against the NFL and its owners claiming that they had colluded to keep him out of the NFL. The two sides reached a confidential settlement in 2018.
In the wake of the nationwide protests that have arisen after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the NFL has taken steps to support the Black Lives Matter movement, with some players wearing slogans to support the protests and names of people killed on their helmets this season.
Kaepernick’s influence has spread to other sports. As The Inquisitr reported, on the four-year anniversary of the first time he protested during the national anthem, athletes from all professional sports went on strike as a protest against the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. At the time, many of those involved credited Kaepernick for starting the movement.
Even NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said that the league was wrong in its handling of Kaepernick. As CNN reported, he said last month that the NFL should have listened to him and the message he was trying to raise.
“Well the first thing I’d say is I wish we had listened earlier, Kap, to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to,” Goodell said.
“We had invited him in several times to have the conversation, to have the dialogue. I wish we had the benefit of that. We never did.”