The Real Reason Why Free Agent Safety Eric Reid Doesn’t Have A Job Yet

    The free agent blackballing of safety Eric Reid is another classic example of why NFL players have to continue to protest, communicate with the league and owners and keep the pressure on. 

    On the surface, it may seem as if some owners listened to the players reasons for protesting, but we are still seeing the effects of Colin Kaepernick’s revolution on the soldiers who carried on his protests when the leagues owners colluded to keep his voice and growing political strength out the league. 

    The Shadow League on Twitter

    The 49ers’ Eric Reid continues his National Anthem protest.

    Two days into free agency, many players have signed with new teams or re-signed with their current ones. Pro Bowl Safety Eric Reid isn’t one of them.

    Reid, who was the first player to kneel alongside Colin Kaepernick in 2016 during the national anthem in protest of racial inequality spent five spectacular seasons with San Francisco. 

    Josina Anderson on Twitter

    Meanwhile… https://t.co/Wso1qJZl8t

    Early in free agency NFL guru, Josina Anderson mentioned that there were rumors surrounding Reid and the fact that he will have a hard time being signed because of his relationship to Colin Kaepernick and the early NFL protests.  

    While this would be blatant discrimination, NFL ownership and management dont seem to feel bad about it. In fact, it seems as if most owners are still trying to figure out ways to punish Black players for standing up for their rights and the rights of the community. The owners play nice on the surface, but behind closed doors, they are still acting like the prison wardens and the players are the inmates who must be crushed if they dont kneel to the oppressive authority and greedy, outdated policies of the owners. 

    Reid took to Twitter on Thursday, March 15 to state his feelings on how his protests might be affecting his job search.  As other free agents have found new deals and visit suitors, Reid hasn’t gotten any burn on the market. He doesn’t think his affiliation with protests should affect his value as a player either way, but he saw this coming. 

    Eric Reid on Twitter

    The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too.

    In December 2017, Reid acknowledged the possibility that his protests could be held against him in free agency. Its more obvious than ever that his fears were justifiable considering he’s a guy who had 67 tackles and two interceptions for the 49ers last season and can’t get a gig. 

    I would say I understand thats a possibility. And Im completely fine with it,” Reid told ESPN. “The things that Ive done, I stand by, and Ive done that for my own personal beliefs. Like I said, Im fine with whatever outcome happens because of that.”

    As part of his efforts to create change, Reid initially joined the NFL Players Coalition formed by Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins. Reid participated in a group chat with fellow members and attended meetings with league representatives and owners as part of the coalition.

    Reid announced in November that he was leaving that group, citing what he said was Jenkins’ decision not to include Kaepernick in the group as well as his own feeling that Jenkins had “misled” him on the coalition’s objectives. Reid is currently guilty by association and NFL owners want him to know that they didnt forget how he bucked the system, challenged them and stood tall against oppressive powers in the face of adversity.

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.