Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid, playing in his first game since filing a collusion grievance against the National Football League, knelt during the national anthem Sunday.
Reid, who went unsigned during the offseason, filed a grievance in May with the support of the NFL Player's Association claiming that owners and teams, under the pressure by President Trump, were preventing players that demonstrated prominently from gaining employment. He joined Colin Kaepernick in suing the NFL for alleged collusion to keep him out of the league after he started the kneeling movement in protest of racial injustice in the United States.
Kaepernick hasn't played a game since 2016 and hasn't received any official workouts with teams. Reid had only one visit with a team — the Cincinnati Bengals — during the offseason. Reid had reportedly been asked in his meeting with the Bengals if he would respect a rule that fined players for demonstrating during the anthem. According to reports, Reid was taken aback by the question and refused to commit to that demand. Before the season began, it was announced that the NFL would not be enforcing the policy amid continued talks with the NFLPA.
Reid didn't specifically pledge to resist protesting after signing with the Panthers in late September, but did say that he was considering alternate methods of demonstration. At his first press conference with the team, Reid wore a shirt that represented solidarity with Kaepernick, who just recently became the new face of Nike's "Just Do It" ad campaign. That Nike campaign has drawn outrage from critics who disapprove of the protests, but also brought a rise in online sales and new stock highs for the athletic apparel company.
Reid is third player to kneel this season; Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson of the Miami Dolphins have knelt in every game so far this season. A handful of other players have demonstrated in other ways.
[Opinion: Take it from this veteran: Stop acting like kneeling for the flag has anything to do with us]