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Eric Reid: Charlottesville won’t change decision to stand for national anthem


Brian Bahr

49ers safety Eric Reid joined Colin Kaepernick in taking a knee during the national anthem last year. In April, Reid said he would stand this season after his anthem protest raised awareness about racial inequality.

On Monday, Reid said recent racial unrest in Charlottesville, Va., had not changed his mind about standing for the anthem. Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch and Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett both chose to sit during the anthem in preseason games over the weekend.

It doesn’t change my plans,” Reid said, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s important to discuss the issues that we have in our country. I think it’s becoming more and more apparent. Maybe people didn’t see what the black community saw when me and Colin were doing our protests, and other players were doing [their] protests last year. I think it’s more apparent now after this past weekend.”

Reid discussed the unrest in Charlottesville with Kaepernick during a Sunday phone conversation.

“It’s becoming more apparent for people to see the issues that we’re talking about, especially in the way that it happened in Charlottesville,” Reid said his former teammate told him. “We’re just hoping that if we keep talking about it . . . because a lot of people just want things to blow over. ‘Oh, that’s an isolated incident. It happens every day.’ And if we can keep talking about it, hopefully we can make this change. And it needs to stop being hopefully. It needs to happen. It needs to happen now.”

Kaepernick became the face of the anthem protest last season, and despite saying he will stand for the national anthem this season, he remains unsigned.