Eric Reid

Panthers safety Eric Reid expresses differences of opinions with 49ers

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AP

Panthers safety Eric Reid expresses differences of opinions with 49ers

Panthers safety Eric Reid had a difference of opinion with the 49ers during his final season with the club in 2017.

Reid said he always wanted what was best for the team. And, in his opinion, releasing NaVorro Bowman and being moved to linebacker was not the best course of action for the 49ers to take two years ago, he said Wednesday.

Reid, in his second season as the starting strong safety for the Panthers, will face the team for which he played his first five NFL seasons for on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

Reid had some good season for the 49ers, including an appearance in the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2013. But his tenure ended with him and the coaching staff not seeing eye-to-eye on his role, he said.

“I remember they changed my position in my contract year,” Reid said while addressing the media that cover the Panthers. “I remember they released NaVorro Bowman, who led the NFL in tackles the year before, and asked me to play his position.

“I disagreed. I thought keeping the NFL tackle leader was best for the team, but I did what I was told.”

Bowman led the NFL in tackles in 2015. He missed 12 games in 2016 with a torn Achilles. The 49ers released Bowman in 2017 after five games.

When Reid was a free agent after the 2017 season, the 49ers publicly kept the door open for his return on a one-year contract. The 49ers already identified Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt as the starting safeties.

Reid eventually signed with the Panthers in 2018 and appeared in 13 games, all as a starter.

Reid said he did not like the way he and Colin Kaepernick were treated. Reid joined Kaepernick in taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem as a protest of social inequality in the United States.

[RELATED: Reid explains strategic reason for kneeling during anthem]

The 49ers made no attempt to re-sign Kaepernick in 2017 after he opted out of his contract. General manager John Lynch said the 49ers would have released Kaepernick if he had not opted out.

“Revenge wouldn’t be the word that I would use,” he said. “I’m determined to play, though.”

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Colin Kaepernick's agents give statement on NFL teams' lack of contact

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USATSI

Colin Kaepernick's agents give statement on NFL teams' lack of contact

It has been 1,021 days since we last saw Colin Kaepernick compete in an NFL game. 

December 24, 2016 -- the day in question -- the then-49ers quarterback compiled 281 total yards and led San Francisco to a 22-21 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Since then, despite a whole lot of media scrutiny, Kaepernick hasn’t even been offered a contract by a team since opting out of his 49ers deal in March 2017.

Kaepernick’s representatives decided to set the record straight on Thursday with a statement containing a series of facts.

Among many facts provided in the release, it indicates that the Seattle Seahawks are the only team to have even brought in Kaepernick for a visit over the past three years. Pete Carroll told reporters in 2017 following the visit that the Nevada alum is “a starter in this league,” yet the team chose not to sign him.

[RELATED: Gronkowski says 49ers TE Kittle 'reminds me of myself']

The statement also points out that former 49ers’ safety Eric Reid, who joined Kaepernick in his original protest of kneeling during the national anthem and in filing a grievance against the NFL, has been continually employed by the Carolina Panthers since filing his grievance. This was cited by many as the reported reason Kaepernick remains without a team.

However you feel about the quarterback and his off-the-field beliefs, Kaepernick did lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance in 2013 and remains the only QB in NFL history to throw for 200 yards and rush for 100 yards in an NFL playoff game.

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NFL rumors: Colin Kaepernick sways Nike to pull Betsy Ross flag shoe

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AP

NFL rumors: Colin Kaepernick sways Nike to pull Betsy Ross flag shoe

Nike reportedly pulled a limited-release shoe bearing a colonial American flag on the heel after hearing out the concerns of Colin Kaepernick.

The former 49ers quarterback objected to the inclusion of "a symbol that he and others consider offensive" on a limited-edition pair of the Nike Air Max 1, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. Kaepernick, a Nike athlete, reportedly took issue with the prominent placement of the Betsy Ross flag -- which features 13 white stars in a circle to represent the 13 colonies.

Nike recently pulled the shoes from their "own apps and websites," according to The Journal, and asked for retailers to return the shoes. Kaepernick first "reached out to company officials saying that he and others felt the Betsy Ross flag is an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery," according to The Journal. 

About two months before the 2016 presidential election, students from a predominantly white high school in Grand Rapids, Mich., waved the Betsy Ross flag and a flag supporting Donald Trump's presidential campaign at a football game their school played against a predominantly black one. At the time, the Grand Rapids NAACP issued a statement saying the Betsy Ross flag had been appropriated by "the so-called ‘Patriot Movement’ and other militia groups who are responding to America’s increasing diversity with opposition and racial supremacy.”

In a statement to The Journal, a Nike spokeswoman said “Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag."

In 2016, Kaepernick sat then kneeled during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games to protest police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. He became a free agent after opting out of his contract with the 49ers when the team told him after the season they would cut him if he didn't, and he remains an unsigned free agent.

Kaepernick and former 49ers teammate Eric Reid, who was the first NFL player to kneel alongside the QB, settled collusion grievances with the NFL earlier this year.

Nike continued to endorse Kaepernick throughout that time. This fall, Nike made Kaepernick the public face of its 30th anniversary "Just Do It" ad campaign. In February, the company released a black-and-white football jersey featuring Kaepernick's No. 7 and his last name on the back.