Eric Reid blames self for “miscommunication” that led to seven kneelers
Hopefully Eric Reid does a better job of explaining his thoughts Tuesday than he did on Sunday.
The veteran safety, who has kneeled during the national anthem since last year when he joined quarterback Colin Kaepernick at the start of the protests of racial inequality and police brutaility, took the blame for only seven 49ers kneeling when they went to Washington yesterday.
Previously, that number was in the 20s, such as the week before in Indianapolis, triggering Vice President Mike Pence’s staged (and taxpayer-funded) walkout. Sunday, it was Reid, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, linebacker Eli Harold, defensive lineman Arik Armstead, cornerback K’Waun Williams, and defensive back Adrian Colbert along with one inactive player (linebacker Dekoda Watson) as the rest of the 49ers stood.
“We talked as a group and I was considering that since we were in the nation’s capital, standing to finally put to bed the accusations that we don’t respect the military,” Reid said, via Mike Jones of USA Today. “And I did a poor job of getting back to all the guys saying, ‘Look, we’re just going to continue the message and continue to kneel, and it’s not about disrespecting them.’ So, it was a hiccup on my part.”
He has a chance this week to make the point clearer, as he’s one of the players who will attend the league owners meeting in New York to discuss the topic.
“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, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area.
Reid said that while other owners have insisted players stand (as a way to protect their business interests), 49ers owner Jed York has applied no such pressure.
“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
Having Reid, along with retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin and Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins on hand for the meetings will give the players some voice, and they can only hope that owners will listen, at a time when pressure is being applied from the White House to their bottom lines (which will always be the most important ones).