Editor's Note: The above video is from Oct. 1, 2017.
LANDOVER, Md. – Safety Eric Reid, who joined Colin Kaepernick last season to protest racial inequality, said he will attend the NFL owners meeting in New York on Tuesday to discuss the matter.
Reid was one of seven 49ers players to protest during the national anthem before Sunday’s game against Washington. The players took a knee and placed their right hands over their hearts.
“My hope is that the NFL will be progressive and utilize their platform to bring awareness to these issues for us, so we don’t have to protest any more,” Reid said.
Reid has stated the protest has nothing to do with the anthem, the U.S. flag and certainly not the military. The protest is about shedding light on issues of racial inequality and police brutality, he said.
The owners meetings take place Tuesday and Wednesday in New York. The NFL last week said commissioner Roger Goodell invited DeMaurice Smith, the head of the Players Association, to discuss the players’ concerns over social issues.
Goodell sent a memo to team executives in which he expressed a preference for players standing during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” Goodell wrote in the memo. “It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. “
But the NFL followed up a day later to explain that there has been no change to the league’s policy on the national anthem. The matter will be discussed in length during the owners meetings this week.
“The agenda will be a continuation of how to make progress on the important social issues that players have vocalized,” according to a league statement. “Everyone who is part of our NFL community has a tremendous respect for our country, our flag, our anthem and our military, and we are coming together to deal with these issues in a civil and constructive way."
Reid said last week 49ers CEO Jed York has been nothing but supportive of the players who choose to use their platform to affect change and bring awareness to their causes.
"I've talked to Jed, and he's expressed very clearly that he wants to support us, that he’s not going to force us to do anything,” Reid said on Wednesday.
The 49ers had 23 players protest last week in Indianapolis. On Sunday, Reid was joined by six teammates: Marquise Goodwin, Adrian Colbert, Eli Harold, Arik Armstead, K’Waun Williams and Dekoda Watson, who was inactive for the game due to an injury.
Retired player Anquan Boldin and Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles are also scheduled to attend the NFL owners meeting, Reid said.