Within the quest for freedom, poet Jorie Graham as soon as mentioned, “No one will get what they need. By no means once more are you an identical. The longing is to be pure. What you get is to be modified.”
Of their combat for racial equality, these Black athlete activists have sacrificed every part—they’ve risked their careers and livelihoods to talk the reality and make clear the injustices of the day.
In 2016, Reid was the primary NFL participant to hitch former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in protest in opposition to police brutality and racial inequality in the USA. Then, after taking part in out his contract with San Francisco, Reid remained unsigned up till three weeks in the past.
On ability alone, Reid ought to have been signed a lot earlier. He was drafted within the first spherical within the 2013 NFL Draft and was named to the Professional Bowl as a rookie. At 26 he’s in his absolute prime. His former head coach Kyle Shanahan even mentioned Reid had been “taking part in his finest soccer” on the finish of final season.
In March, believing that he was being blackballed by the league for kneeling, Reid admitted that if signed by a group, he wouldn’t protest in the course of the anthem.
“The notion that I could be a nice signing for your group for low cost, not due to my ability set however as a result of I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. In case you suppose [it] is, then your mindset is a part of the issue too,” he wrote on Twitter.
GMs aren’t the maintain up broski. It’s possession. Individuals who know soccer know who can play. Individuals who know me, know my character. https://t.co/M9ULziZg5V
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) March 16, 2018
Reid performed his first recreation of 2018 on Sunday with the Carolina Panthers and regardless of his earlier assertion, he kneeled, persevering with the combat for racial equality and justice for all of those that’ve been murdered by the hands of police.
I can’t think about this choice got here straightforward. This offseason, NFL homeowners handed a rule that required any gamers on the sphere to face in the course of the taking part in of the nationwide anthem. Though that coverage has been placed on maintain, there are nonetheless critics on the market who consider that Reid is a “piece of shit” for selecting to face up in opposition to systematic oppression; there are nonetheless NFL homeowners on the market who would slightly lose a complete season than rent him.
— Gary Apple (@usmchky) October 7, 2018
Final Might, Reid filed a declare insisting he was unsigned because of collusion by NFL homeowners. The NFL Gamers Affiliation filed a non-injury grievance on Reid’s behalf in Might.
“Our union is conscious that Eric Reid and his authorized representatives filed a collusion declare, which can be heard by way of the arbitration course of as spelled out in our collective bargaining settlement,” the NFL Gamers Affiliation mentioned in an announcement Wednesday. “Our union helps Eric and we’re contemplating different authorized choices to pursue.”
Whereas that is an efficient option to enact change and get up for himself, Reid’s criticism in opposition to the league may probably harm his probabilities of being re-signed as soon as his contract ends. In spite of everything, the Panthers gave him solely a one-year deal value as much as $2 million with play-time and Professional Bowl incentives.
Nonetheless, Reid has made it clear that he and Kaepernick won’t ever cease protesting for the rights of Black individuals.
“Once we began, Colin and I, we mentioned: ‘Nothing will change until you speak about it,’ so we’re going to proceed to speak about it,” Reid mentioned. “We’re going to proceed to carry America accountable to the usual it says on paper, that we’re all created equal, as a result of it’s not that means—however we’re going to maintain pushing ahead.”
Regardless of the controversy behind his protesting and the grief he’ll should proceed to endure from spiteful, offended followers, it appears Eric Reid, like Tommie Smith and John Carlos, is on this combat for the lengthy haul.
By no means once more will he be checked out as simply an NFL participant. Once we flip by way of the historical past books, we’ll see him and Kaepernick and everybody who’s protested within the title of racial injustice as brokers of change who, by way of their activism and combat for freedom, had been modified themselves.