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Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid has chosen a cause close to his heart to take advantage of the NFL’s “My cause, my cleats” program.
He selected activist and artist Brandon Odums to create the design for his cleats for Monday’s game against the New Orleans Saints as a “tribute to the history of protest” while promoting Colin Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights Camp.”
Eric Reid’s cleats
My cleats for tonight. Much thanks and appreciation to the artist @2cent_bmike. Here’s his take on the inspiration behind his design, “It’s a tribute to the history of protest , centered around the quote “if not us , who? If not now, when? “ meaning we all benefit and stand on… pic.twitter.com/x9PNkmwTK0
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) December 17, 2018
The design features images of protestors holding up signs that read “I know my rights” and “If not us, who? If not now, when?”
The shoes are a nod to causes at the center of social injustice protests led by NFL players in recent years who have knelt during the national anthem to raise awareness to police brutality and racial inequity in the United States.
Continued support for Kaepernick
It’s a cause pioneered by Kaepernick, who has not been able to find NFL work since opting out of the last year of his San Francisco 49ers contract in 2017 amid controversy and anger over his protests.
His Know Your Rights Camp intends “to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment and instruction to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios.”
Reid highlights the 10 points of the Know Your Rights Camp on his cleats:
You have the right to be free.
You have the right to be healthy.
You have the right to be brilliant.
You have the right to be safe.
You have the right to be loved.
You have the right to be courageous.
You have the right to be alive.
You have the right to be trusted.
You have the right to be educated.
You have the right to know your rights.
NFL program used to promote Kaepernick’s message
That Reid, Kaepernick’s former teammate and a fellow protestor, is using a league-sanctioned program to raise awareness for Kaepernick’s cause is a significant statement.
Kaepernick has filed a collusion grievance against the NFL because of his inability to find work despite being in his prime and a capable NFL quarterback in a league in dire need of signal callers.
Reid, a 27-year-old safety who has been to the Pro Bowl, also had trouble finding work before the Panthers eventually signed him early this season.
Even as the league keeps Kaepernick away, Reid is using an official NFL program to promote his message.
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