Eric Reid Signing With Panthers

Carolina+Panthers%27+Eric+Reid+%2825%29+kneels+as+Cam+Newton+%281%29+stands+during+the+national+anthem+before+an+NFL+football+game+against+the+New+York+Giants+in+Charlotte%2C+N.C.%2C+Sunday%2C+Oct.+7%2C+2018.+%28AP+Photo%2FJason+E.+Miczek%29
Carolina Panthers' Eric Reid (25) kneels as Cam Newton (1) stands during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the New York Giants in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)

Carolina Panthers' Eric Reid (25) kneels as Cam Newton (1) stands during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the New York Giants in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)

AP

AP

Carolina Panthers' Eric Reid (25) kneels as Cam Newton (1) stands during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the New York Giants in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)

Peyton Forte, Contributor (theScore)

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Six months is the amount of time the former San Francisco 49ers safety, Eric Reid, spent watching NFL teams pick players he knew he was more qualified than.

As a member of the 49ers, Reid decided to take a knee along with free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, during the playing of the national anthem to protest systematic racism. Reid was an early supporter of Kaepernick and continued to kneel in 2017 when Kaepernick was unemployed.

When the 2017-18 season concluded, Reid found himself continuously passed up on by several teams in the league.

In May of 2018, he filed a grievance with the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) accusing NFL owners of colluding to keep him out off the field.

“No Club, its employees or agents shall enter into any agreement, express or implied, with the NFL or any other Club, its employees or agents to restrict or limit individual Club decision-making,” according to the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement on collusion being prohibited.

After spending most of the summer as a free-agent, Reid finally signed with the Panthers on a one-year deal.

In his first media session since regaining employment, Reid reiterated, “without a doubt” that his collusion case will continue. Sporting a #IMWITHKAP shirt in front of media officials, the former Pro-Bowler also stated the Panthers did not ask about him potentially protesting this season until after he had signed.

For those wondering why Reid is continuing with his case despite being signed to a team, it is important to understand Reid’s present employment does not negate past collusion. Reid’s case should not lose merit because he gets to put on an NFL jersey every Sunday again.

In fact, the lack of interest Reid received before being signed by the newest NFL owner should help strengthen his case.

It should also be remembered Colin Kaepernick, the current face of Nike’s latest campaign and initiator of the protest is still without a job.

As a quarterback, Kaepernick’s position is widely seen as the most important in all of football. Teams with quality quarterbacks often make the playoffs, yet Kaepernick is still fighting his way back into the league.

Professional sports organizations are supposed to acquire the best talent available to improve the team. Executives for sports franchises have one job: to build a team equipped to win as many games as possible.

David Tepper emphasized the reason Eric Reid joined his team was purely a football one, so why is this concept so hard for other teams to grasp?

In a league where player grievances are often penalized, Reid following through with his collusion case shows his commitment to reaffirming the experiences of black people in America, regardless of the consequences.

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