Panthers sign safety Eric Reid, one of first protestors who knelt with Colin Kaepernick

Yahoo Sports

The Carolina Panthers have signed former Pro Bowl safety Eric Reid, who along with Colin Kaepernick was one of the first players to protest racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem.

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Reid’s old teammate Kaepernick, who remains unsigned, tweeted out his congratulations. He added that he believes Reid should have been signed on the first day of free agency.


Reid spent his entire five-year career with San Francisco, but went unsigned after the end of the 2017 season. He had two interceptions and 52 tackles last season over the course of 13 games, and appeared capable of continuing to play at a high level.

“I think we all know why he hasn’t received a call,” Panthers receiver Torrey Smith, a former teammate of Reid’s in San Francisco, told The Athletic earlier this week.

Eli Harold, left, Colin Kaepernick, center, and former safety Eric Reid, right, kneel before a 2016 49ers game. (AP)
Eli Harold, left, Colin Kaepernick, center, and former safety Eric Reid, right, kneel before a 2016 49ers game. (AP)

Reid has long aligned himself with another former San Francisco 49ers teammate in Kaepernick, and continued to kneel even after Kaepernick went unsigned. Like Kaepernick, Reid has filed a grievance against the NFL, accusing them of blackballing him for his aggressively pro-protest stance.

It’s unclear what effect the Panthers’ signing will have on that grievance, or whether Reid will continue to protest on the sideline during Panthers games.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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