The protest movement isn’t making major NFL headlines this season, but some players remain resolute in the fight against inequality.
During the press conference following his initial signing, Reid was certain to let everybody know he was making no promises regarding ending his protest against American police brutality and oppression.
So it wasn’t a surprise when his pregame ritual, dating back to when he began taking a knee alongside Colin Kaepernick as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, remained the same prior to kickoff against the New York Giants this weekend.
Reid said nothing regarding the matter afterwards. Around this time last year, there were hundreds if not thousands of editorials that either celebrated or denigrated the actions of those brave men who decided that protesting against injustice was a worthy cause.
But this season, the reactions, either for or against the protests, have diminished a great deal. That’s why they call it a “news cycle”.
Just like the life cycle of any living thing, news is “born”, it “lives” and it eventually “dies”. The death of a particular story can come in a myriad of ways, but stories die a more or less natural death when people no longer care about the outcome one way or another.
Don’t even front, you didn’t believe that Pro Bowl safety Eric Reid would ever play football in the National Football League again after being the first player to join former teammate Colin Kaepernick in protesting police brutality and social injustice by taking a knee during the national anthem.
As the NFL season began, it really seemed like nobody cared anymore. Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat during the anthem in Week 1, and Miami Dolphins players Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson tooka knee. New York Jets defensive end Robert Quinn has been raising his right fist in the air since 2016.
Reid’s protest on Sunday was the most widely covered incident of its kind this year, which is saying a great deal when we consider the feeding frenzy that was underway last season.
During the preseason, the NFL commissioner and owners tried to pretend that they were in total agreement on a broad sweeping referendum that called on violators of their anthem policy to be fined, suspended or both. People flipped their wig until the NFLPA stepped forward and set the record straight.
Now, there’s no anthem policy in place. But there has been no proliferation of protests on NFL sidelines this season.
Perhaps both the players and owners have grown weary of this particular dialectic. However, those who are resolute for this worthy cause are still standing tall in the saddle, taking on both apparent and subversive arrows to their reputations so that the world is made aware of how miscarriages of justice visit those of a darker hue with far more frequency than the rest of the American populous.