NFL Players Sold Out Kaepernick's Protest For $89 Million, 49ers Player Eric Reed Leaves Coalition
Players agreed to a deal that would grant $90 to $100 million to charities and organizations dedicated to social issues.
December 02, 2017 at 1:38 pm
For over a year, former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick's protest against racism and social injustices has inspired other players to kneel or raise a fist in support.
On Wednesday, Nov. 29, the Players' Coalition and the NFL reached an agreement to allocate funds that will provide approximately $89 million to $100 million between the onset of the arrangement and 2023 to social causes deemed important by the players that focus on issues pertaining to African American communities.
Kap's protest, since the very beginning, has become a public relations nightmare for the NFL, sparking criticism from the Right and most notably President Donald Trump who called protesting players "Sons of b**ches."
The deal, not specifically meant to stop many of the protests in the league, has not reflected the feelings of all players who support Kaepernick. Headed by players Malcolm Jenkins and Anquan Boldin, the Players' Coalition lost valuable voices in Eric Reed, who has been close to Kaepernick since the very beginning, and Michael Thomas.
Reed claims the agreement excludes Kap and the allocation of the funds is just a co-opted move to control Kap's movement. He also revealed in a Slate interview that he fears that the deal is just a way to silence players.
ESPN reported that 25 percent of the funds will go to the United Negro College Fund, 25 percent to Dream Corps and 50 percent to the Players Coalition. Then, a group consisting of NFL players and team owners would be created to figure out how to spend the last portion.
The group would involve five players, five owners (or owners’ representatives), and two NFL staff members. And this is disconcerting for Reed. He believes this will give the NFL more say-so about how the money will be spent.
After speaking with Jenkins, Reed suggested the funds in question would just be simply taken from funds allocated for the league’s breast cancer awareness work and Salute to Service. Other players like Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung will continue to protest because he has reservations about the deal as well.
“I think you’ve got to keep in mind who started this thing, and who sort of put himself on the line,” Okung said in a statement. “There’s definitely some respect there. I believe this is the same league who’s effectively blackballed him. So when you’re dealing with this group of people or entity as a league, what you’ve got to keep in mind is this reparation, or just $89 million?"
Okung, like Reed and Thomas, respects the leaders of the coalition but disagrees with the handling of the issue at hand.