Ex-49ers Eric Reid, Torrey Smith disagree on Jed York's $1M donation, handling of Colin Kaepernick

Yahoo Sports

Former San Francisco 49ers stars Eric Reid and Torrey Smith had opposite views on team owner Jed York announcing a $1 million donation to “local and national organizations who are creating change.” The news came as protests continued around the nation after the death of George Floyd, an issue that has brought former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s actions and message front and center.

Reid: We want justice, not money

Reid, currently a free agent, was drafted by San Francisco in 2013 and played there through the 2017 season. He took issue with the donation, telling York that the goal is justice and truth. And that money would get people there.

Reid wrote in a series of three tweets:

“Nobody wants your money Jed. We want justice. We’ve always wanted justice. Y’all are truly (deluded).”

“One day y’all will realize that truth and justice are the answer.”

“I see that a lot of y’all think that it takes money to get justice. It does not. It takes money to facilitate injustice. Justice is easy, the system chooses not to give it.”

York also committed to supporting the legislative priorities of The Players Coalition, an organization formed in 2017 to raise awareness about police and community relations. The group was a direct result of the controversy surrounding Kaepernick’s taking a knee during the national anthem in 2016.

Earlier in May, The Players Coalition sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr urging the Department of Justice to intervene in the case of Ahmaud Arbery. Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was shot while jogging in his residential Georgia neighborhood.

Smith commends 49ers on donation

At around the same time Reid was sharing his thoughts, Smith shared his own. But in stark contrast, he supported the work of York and the commitment by the team.

“I’ve had countless conversations with Jed about these issues when I was in SF. I’m grateful for his commitment to the Bay and injustices everywhere.”

Smith was in San Francisco for the 2015 and 2016 seasons after winning a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens. He retired last September.

Reid, Smith disagree on Kaepernick

Eric Reid (35), then with the San Francisco 49ers, disagreed with the team owner's donation of $1 million. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Eric Reid (35), then with the San Francisco 49ers, disagreed with the team owner's donation of $1 million. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The former teammates disagreed with each other on how the 49ers and York handled Kaepernick and his kneeling during the anthem to bring attention to inequality.

One of Smith’s followers first mentioned the former, but not retired, quarterback in a reply to Smith. He answered saying that York was “willing to support in anyway possible” and wanted to find a way to help.

Reid disagreed with that and quote-tweeted it, saying York “begged me not to kneel.” The safety joined Kaepernick in kneeling during the anthem, and continued doing so after the Panthers signed him in 2018.

Smith: Kaepernick should still have job in NFL

Upon pushing by people in his replies, Smith said that Kaepernick’s release from the 49ers was just “business” and that Jimmy Garoppolo was “hot at the time.” But he did say the quarterback should have been picked up elsewhere.

CNN political analyst Joe Lockhart, a former NFL executive, wrote in a column last week that Kaepernick was bounced from the league “because he became a financial liability, kneeling for social justice and igniting a telling firestorm with President Donald Trump.” The NFL responded by saying teams “may sign him if they choose to do so.”

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