49ers Eric Reid says Kaepernick points to issues 'bigger than football'
Eric Reid said he’s heard from a number of teammates and other NFL players since he knelt beside Colin Kaepernick during the anthem ceremony on Sept. 1.
He and Kaepernick will do the same Monday before their game at home against the Los Angeles Rams. Will they be the only ones?
“There’s been guys that have talked about it,” Reid said Friday. “I can’t speak for what anybody is going to do and their plans for the future. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”
So far four NFL players have declined to stand for the anthem: Kaepernick, Reid, Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane and Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall.
Reid said he’s also heard plenty of negativity, though that has largely come via social media.
“Twitter’s worse. People have said some mean things,” the 49ers safety said. “But, sticks and stones, it doesn’t bother me. I’m willing to bet those people wouldn’t say it face to face, so I’m not worried in the slightest.”
Marshall also spoke Friday to Denver-area reporters about what he’s experienced.
“I had so many comments on Twitter and Instagram,” he said. “I couldn’t go through all of them. I had a lot of positive text messages, but as far as social media, I had a lot of negative, racist comments. A lot of people calling me ... all kind of derogatory terms. It is what it is. There is a lot of hate out there. I’m not here to spread hate or negativity, I’m here to spread positivity.”
Kaepernick and Reid aren’t standing during the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” to spotlight racial problems in this country, including police-brutality issues in places such as Reid’s home town of Baton Rouge, La.
Analysts predicted the stance would split the 49ers’ locker room on the eve of the regular-season opener. That hasn’t occurred.
The players this week elected Reid as their union representative, the second year he has held that title.
The 49ers Foundation also pledged $1 million to two Bay Area foundations to improve racial and economic inequities.
“Any time you do something – a protest – you know there’s going to be backlash,” Reid said. “You know you can’t satisfy (everybody). But for our organization to step up, it feels like we’re supported by the NFL. That’s huge. It gives substance to what we’re doing. Our owners believe in what we’re doing. It kind of gives me encouragement to move forward.”
Reid said he and Kaepernick ultimately want to effect change.
“Personally, I work a lot in the community back home in Baton Rouge,” he said. “We’d like to see something on the legislative side, that there could be some kind of policy that will help make the relationship (between) community and police officers … better. That’s what we’re looking for.”