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Eric Reid, safety for the Carolina Panthers, has been a staunch supporter of Colin Kaepernick and the movement he started to bring awareness to social injustice, racial inequality and police brutality.
While the kneeling across the league has simmered down, Reid isn’t one of those who plans to go quietly. Just the opposite- he’s going to be taking a knee again this season in the ongoing fight against these same issues and how they affect African Americans.
“It feels like we’re going backwards,” said Reid to the Charlotte Observer. “You’d like to think we’re past certain things, the way we treat people. I thought we were at a time where you love your neighbor as yourself. But as I’ve studied history — it hasn’t repeated itself necessarily, but it’s dressed a little different and is acting the same.”
The Panthers’ safety is highly intelligent and recognizes that the fight must continue because the issues remain, and now they’re coming in different forms, especially in the country that we’re living in under 45.
“If a day comes that I feel like we’ve addressed those issues, and our people aren’t being discriminated against or being killed over traffic violations, then I’ll decide it’s time to stop protesting,” said Reid. “I haven’t seen that happen.”
Reid isn’t one to stay quiet when he sees that something is wrong or unjust, a practice he maintained when the new LSU football locker rooms were revealed after a multi-million dollar renovation.
The locker room when I was at LSU 7 years ago was better than the current one in Carolina. But there’s no money to compensate these young men for the revenue they bring to the school #JustSaying https://t.co/hlQtMy8dwd
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) July 22, 2019
Reid also puts his money where his mouth is, stating that he’s given money out of his own pocket to help the cause of others.
“I’ve given 10 percent of my earnings since entering the league to various causes.” said Reid in a reply to a comment from his Twitter post. “My point is that instead of $28 million to get a bed in lockers when the prior locker room was just fine, that $ could have instead been used to: 1) give folks scholarships or 2) put $ in your pocket.”
Reid’s dedication to the pursuit of equality hasn’t seemed to frighten the Panthers, as he signed a three-year, $22 million contract in February to remain with the team. A few days later, he and Kaepernick settled their collusion lawsuit against the NFL, ending one fight that they “won” with an undisclosed sum awarded.
So the Panthers aren’t scared by his commitment to the cause, his stance on taking a knee in the fight against social injustice or his recent fight against the League, which means that Reid can continue doing what he feels is right, and that’s maintaining the fight.
“We’ve got to keep fighting,” Reid said. “Got to keep agitating. Got to keep making sure that we put pressure on the people who make the laws, and the decisions, in this country.”
Expect that fight to live on every Sunday on the sidelines before kickoff.