FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid

Many that watch the NFL are consumed with the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft which begins on April 28th. While you weren’t looking the NFL has been escalating their punishment on players that sat for the National Anthem and will still not commit to standing for the anthem.

Indeed, Colin Kaepernick has become a household name for starting this movement. He has been praised by those concerned with social justice, and rightfully so. What Kaepernick has done is courageous, but do we know of his former teammate Eric Reid?

Reid was the first person to kneel along side of Kaepernick during the National Anthem in the 2016 season.

We can talk about Reid, the community man, that holds a golf tournament every year to benefit the Baton Rouge Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation. Or Reid the man in 2017, during the last year of his contract, penned an op-ed in the New York Timesdefending Kaepernick and their stance on kneeling for the National Anthem. Or Reid the man that continued to kneel for the National Anthem in 2017, knowing the NFL was blackballing Kaepernick at the time.

These are all things that make Reid a man with conviction, but let’s focus on Reid the football player. He wasn’t some long shot to make an NFL roster. He was the 18th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. He went to a powerhouse college football school, Louisiana State University. He’s only 26 years old, not even in the prime of his career, and he’s unemployed.

First round picks in the NFL are expected to be impact players for their team, they are expected to be above average in their position compared to their peers at the same position across the league.

The thing is Reid has met expectations. He was named to the 2013 Pro Bowl. The football analytic site, Pro Football Focus, graded out his 2017 season at 81.4 which is above average play. The NFL’s own website ranked him as the 27th out of the 101 best free agents to sign in the offseason.

You can see why this is slightly different than Kaepernick. After the 2016 season there were questions as to if Kaepernick had what it takes to play Quarterback as the 49ers hobbled into the 2016 offseason with a two win, fourteen loss season. No one is questioning Reid’s ability to play football especially after the 49ers ended their 2017 on a high note winning six of their last sevengames.

So why hasn’t Reid been signed by a team to play professional football? Is it because of his anthem protests that the league is dying to move on from? Yes. Is it also because Reid has not fully committed to standing for the National Anthem? Yes, and here’s where it gets more interesting.

In April, Reid had a free agency visit with the Cincinnati Bengals, Reid was asked by ownership if he intends to sit for the anthem because ownership would be prohibiting kneeling during the anthem. Reid wasn’t willing to make a commitment on the spot and so it goes Reid left the Bengals facility without a contract offer. And there hasn’t been a peep from another team interested in signing a 26-year-old above average safety.

When confronting systemic injustices that center on white supremacy, we on the left talk about standing in solidarity. We do this on countless occasions for those being oppressed and controlled by the system. We do it for people that have no face and no name, we know their story but we may not know their name.

When you read this hopefully you not only have a name but hopefully you will see the face of a man that is willing to sacrifice fame and fortune for morals and principles.

He may not be the most attention getting position in all of sports, Quarterback, but he’s a Free Safety. Free Safeties are the last line of defense in the game of football. It’s their job to make sure no offensive players get through them to score a touchdown.

Reid is playing this position in the game of life. Right now he may be a our last line of defense to keeping the conversation of police brutality and racial injustice going when football games are played. It’s time we recognize this and support him.

More articles by:

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

April 24, 2019
Susan Babbitt
Disdain and Dignity: An Old (Anti-Imperialist) Story
Adam Jonas Horowitz
Letter to the Emperor
Lawrence Davidson
A Decisive Struggle For Our Future
John Steppling
The Mandate for Israel: Keep the Arabs Down
Victor Grossman
Many Feet
Cira Pascual Marquina
The Commune is the Supreme Expression of Participatory Democracy: a Conversation with Anacaona Marin of El Panal Commune
Binoy Kampmark
Failed States and Militias: General Khalifa Haftar Moves on Tripoli
Dean Baker
Payments to Hospitals Aren’t Going to Hospital Buildings
Alvaro Huerta
Top Ten List in Defense of MEChA
Colin Todhunter
As the 2019 Indian General Election Takes Place, Are the Nation’s Farmers Being Dealt a Knock-Out Blow?
Charlie Gers
Trump’s Transgender Troops Ban is un-American and Inhumane
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Just Another Spring in Progress?
Thomas Knapp
On Obstruction, the Mueller Report is Clintonesque
Elliot Sperber
Every Truck’s a Garbage Truck
April 23, 2019
Peter Bolton
The Monroe Doctrine is Back, and as the Latest US Attack on Cuba Shows, Its Purpose is to Serve the Neoliberal Order
David Schultz
The Mueller Report: Trump Too Inept to Obstruct Justice
Geoff Beckman
Crazy Uncle Joe and the Can’t We All Just Get Along Democrats
Medea Benjamin
Activists Protect DC Venezuelan Embassy from US-supported Coup
Patrick Cockburn
What Revolutionaries in the Middle East Have Learned Since the Arab Spring
Jim Goodman
Don’t Fall for the Hype of Free Trade Agreements
Lance Olsen
Climate and Forests: Land Managers Must Adapt, and Conservationists, Too
William Minter
The Coming Ebola Epidemic
Tony McKenna
Stephen King’s IT: a 2019 Retrospective
David Swanson
Pentagon Claims 1,100 High Schools Bar Recruiters; Peace Activists Offer $1,000 Award If Any Such School Can Be Found
Gary Olson
A Few Comments on the recent PBS Series: Reconstruction: America After the Civil War
April 22, 2019
Melvin Goodman
The NYTs Tries to Rehabilitate Bloody Gina Haspel
Robert Fisk
After ISIS, a Divided Iraq, Wounded and Grief-Stricken
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange as Neuroses
John Laforge
Chernobyl’s Deadly Effects Estimates Vary
Kenneth Surin
Mueller Time? Not for Now
Cesar Chelala
Yemen: The Triumph of Barbarism
Kerron Ó Luain
What the “White Irish Slaves” Meme Tells Us About Identity Politics
Andy Piascik
Grocery Store Workers Take on Billion Dollar Multinational
Seiji Yamada – Gregory G. Maskarinec
Health as a Human Right: No Migrants Need Apply
Howard Lisnoff
Loose Bullets and Loose Cannons
Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada
Dreaming in Miami
Graham Peebles
Consuming Stuff: The Polluting World of Fashion
Robert Dodge
Earth Day: Our Planet in Peril
Weekend Edition
April 19, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What Will It Take For Trump to Get His Due?
Roy Eidelson
Is the American Psychological Association Addicted to Militarism and War?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Time is Blind, Man is Stupid
Joshua Frank
Top 20 Mueller Report “Findings”
Rob Urie
Why Russiagate Will Never Go Away
Paul Street
Stephen Moore Gets Something Right: It’s Capitalism vs. Democracy
Russell Mokhiber
Why Boeing and Its Executives Should be Prosecuted for Manslaughter
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail