The NFL is singing a different tune this year when it comes to embracing the message of Black Lives Matter.
The league has posted the slogans “End Racism” and “We’re All In This Together” in the back of the end zones and have shown support for players who choose to use their platform to shed light on the racism and inequality the country faces today.
Pregame shows focused on these issues as a central theme while players around the league used various different forms of protest to shed light on these issues before each game.
But Colin Kaepernick, who spearheaded protests four years ago by kneeling during the national anthem, tweeted a scathing critique of the NFL on Sunday.
“While NFL runs propaganda about how they care about Black Life, they are still actively blackballing Eric Reid for fighting for the Black community,” he wrote. “Eric set 2 franchise records last year, and is one of the best defensive players in the league.”
Reid, 28, was a teammate of Kaepernick’s in 2016 and was one of the first players to kneel alongside him during the playing of the national anthem. He was also part of Kaepernick’s collusion lawsuit against the league as Reid remained unsigned for an extended period before the 2018 NFL season.
The Carolina Panthers eventually signed Reid three weeks into the 2018 season and he spent the last two seasons there.
In 2019, despite playing through a shoulder injury, sprained ankle and sprained MCL, Reid finished with 130 tackles and four sacks – both franchise records for a defensive back.
The Panthers cut Reid back in March as the team underwent a coaching regime change, but the move to part ways with him was still considered to be a surprise.