49ers

Eric Reid rips VP Mike Pence, calls exit from 49ers-Colts game 'PR stunt'

Eric Reid rips VP Mike Pence, calls exit from 49ers-Colts game 'PR stunt'

INDIANAPOLIS – San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid sized up the actions Sunday of United States Vice President Mike Pence as a move made for public-relations reasons.

After 23 members of the 49ers took a knee during the playing of the national anthem to protest racial inequality in America, Pence left Lucas Oil Stadium and shortly thereafter released a statement.

Reid, who was inactive for the game with a knee injury, was asked to react after the game.

“My honest reaction? First of all, does anyone know the last time he’s been to a football game?” Reid said. “With that being said, he tweeted out a three-year-old photo (before the game) of him at a Colts game. With the information I have, the last time he’s been to a Colts game was 3 years ago. So this looks like a PR stunt to me.

“He knew our team has had the most players protest. He knew that we were probably going to do to it again. This is what systemic oppression looks like. A man with power comes to a game, he tweets a couple things out and leaves the game with an attempt to thwart our efforts.”

President Donald Trump admitted via Twitter that he asked Pence to leave the game if he saw any players taking a knee. Pence, the former Governor of Indiana, was ostensibly at the game for the halftime ceremony during which Peyton Manning got his number retired.

Reid, who joined Colin Kaepernick in taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem for all of last season, reiterated the meaning of the protest.

“This is not about the military,” Reid said. “This is not about the flag. This is not about the anthem. My mother served in the armed forces. Three of my uncles served in the armed forces. In fact, my mom would’ve gone to the Persian Gulf War had she not been pregnant with me. I have the upmost respect for the military, the anthem and the flag. So I will say that every time you interview me.

“This is about systemic oppression that has been rampant in this country for decades on top of decades. And I will continue to encourage people to educate themselves of how we got to where we are today, because it didn’t happen overnight. It’s not going to happen overnight to fix these issues, so we’re going to keep talking about it. I know I will keep doing what I feel is necessary to use the platform I have to make those changes.”

Reid added, “It’s really disheartening when everything you were raised on – everything I was raised on – was to be the best person I could be, to help people who need help. And the vice president of the United States is trying to confuse the message that we’re trying to put out there.

“I would like to believe that he’s such a busy man that he hasn’t had time to hear our message, but this has been going on for over a year now. So I know that’s not the case.”

The 49ers next week travel to Washington and are situated in a hotel just blocks from the White House.

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

goodell-us.jpg
USATSI

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

trump-ap.jpg
AP

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”