After being signed to the Carolina Panthers, Eric Reid marked his return to the football field by taking a knee.
The former San Francisco 49ers player gained notoriety when he chose to join his former teammate Colin Kaepernick in peacefully protesting police brutality and racial inequality during the national anthem. Their protest is believed to be the cause of neither player being picked by another team following the expiration of their contracts with the 49ers.
In September, after becoming a free agent, Reid finally made his return to the NFL, signing a one-year contract with the Carolina Panthers. Sunday was his first game as a Panther, and he made it clear that as long as he is able, he will continue to kneel.
While his return to the league came faster than expected, he is in not easing his collusion case against the organization. According to ESPN, he is also still considering other ways to protest social injustice outside of taking a knee during the national anthem.
Eric Reid kneels during the anthem before his first game with the Panthers. pic.twitter.com/atUsB9PNDk— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 7, 2018
"I'm still evaluating the scope of our country, and I'll make that decision later," Reid said. "I'll put it this way, next year will be 2019. It will mark 400 years since the first slave touched the soil in this country. That's 400 years of systemic depression, that's slavery, Jim Crow, new Jim Crow, mass incarceration, you name it ... the Great Depression, they came out with a New Deal, black people didn't have access to those government stimulus packages. ... We didn't have access to those programs, the GI Bill, Social Security, home loans, none of that."
Reid also said he didn't enjoy his return as much as he would have had Kaepernick been by his side.
“It’s bittersweet,” Reid said. “I won the game, but Colin is at home with my kids. He should be playing.”
"Nothing will ever change unless you talk about it," Reid said. "So we're going to continue to talk about it. We're going to continue to hold America to the standards that it says on paper — that we're all created equal. Because it's not that way right now. But we're going to keep pushing toward that."
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